man with presbyopia

Have you noticed that it’s getting more difficult to see clearly now that you are getting older? Do you need to squint a little to see your smartphone screen or do you end up moving your arm back and forth to find the perfect distance from which to read? You’ll be pleased to know that this isn’t unusual. Our bodies change as we get older, and our eyes are no exception. As we age, most of us will go on to develop a condition called Presbyopia.

What is Presbyopia and What Causes it?

Presbyopia is a condition that occurs when advancing age causes changes in the crystalline lens, which is responsible for focusing light as it enters the eye. As the lens becomes less flexible, the ability to adapt and focus worsens and causes us to experience blurred vision when looking at nearby objects. Presbyopia is not the same as hyperopia (farsightedness), which is caused by the irregular shape of the cornea.

Presbyopia is a progressive condition, meaning that its severity may worsen without treatment. Even if you have never worn glasses or contact lenses before, you could still develop Presbyopia as you get older. If you do already use a form of vision correction because you are nearsighted, you will notice that your near vision blurs when you wear your usual glasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

The most common sign of Presbyopia is the need to move things slightly further away when you are trying to focus on them, such as books, magazines, and cell phone screens. Other common indicators of Presbyopia include:

  • Eye strain

  • Headaches

  • Eye fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating on anything visual for long periods

If you are concerned that you might be developing Presbyopia, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at Santa Barbara Eyecare.

Can Presbyopia be Treated?

Fortunately, there are things that can be done to improve the vision in people with Presbyopia. Your eye doctor in Santa Barbara will be able to recommend the treatment that they think may be most effective, and your options could include:

Bifocal Glasses or Contact Lenses

Bifocal lenses are lenses that are divided into two sections, each with a different prescription, one for near vision and one for far vision. You can get bifocal lenses in glasses as well as contact lenses, giving you the flexibility to choose an option that best suits your lifestyle. Bifocal contact lenses are also available in a variety of types, from soft lenses to rigid ones, and from daily disposables to those which are long-wearing and must be removed and cleaned overnight.

Multifocal Glasses or Contact lenses

Multifocal contact lenses are very similar to bifocals, except that instead of just two sections there are at least three different prescriptions within each lens. Just like bifocal lenses, multifocal glasses or contact lenses are available in both soft and rigid materials. Additionally, they are designed for daily or extended wear depending on your individual needs.

If you would like more information about Presbyopia, call Santa Barbara Eyecare at (805) 451-8180 to schedule an appointment.

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