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Home » What's New » Middle Age and Presbyopia

Ever wonder why it gets harder to read small print as you get older? As time passes, the lens of your eye becomes less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia. It's something that affects all of us.

Those with untreated presbyopia tend to hold reading material at arm's length to be able to focus properly. Additionally, engaging in other close-range tasks, like embroidery or writing, can also lead to headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. For sufferers who are ready to deal with presbyopia, you have a number of alternatives available, regardless of whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

An oft-used solution is reading glasses, though these are generally most useful for those who wear contacts or for people who don't already need glasses for issues with distance vision. These are readily available, but it is not recommended to purchase them until you have been examined by an optometrist. Lots of people don't know that reading glasses may be helpful for quick periods of reading but they can eventually cause fatigue with extended use.

And if you already use glasses, but would rather not have to use more than one pair of glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find very beneficial. These are eyeglasses that have more than one point of focus; the bottom portion helps you see at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique known as monovision, where you wear a contact lens to correct near sightedness in one eye and another to correct far sightedness in the other eye.

Plan to routinely check the strength of your lenses, because your eyes and vision slowly change as you get older, especially after middle age. But it's also important to understand your various choices before making choices about your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery.

It's best to speak to your eye care professional for a helpful perspective. We can help you deal with presbyopia and your changing eye sight in a way that is best for you.

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