All people begin to have trouble seeing up close as they approach their mid-40s. This is due to a condition is known as presbyopia. The development of presbyopia is progressive, and begins to significantly impact men and women around age 43. Though presbyopia happens to everyone, there are a number of solutions available at Eye Doctors of Washington to mitigate its effects.
Causes of Presbyopia
When we are young, our eyes naturally have the ability to “zoom-in” and focus on objects both near and far. The flexible lenses inside our eyes allow us to shift our focus from long distances to close ranges. Unfortunately, as we age, these lenses harden, reducing their ability to flex, zoom, and focus. Consequently, people begin to hold things farther away from them to see clearly.
Symptoms of Presbyopia
Common symptoms that you may be suffering from presbyopia include:
- Blurred vision at close proximity
- Difficulty reading
- The need to hold objects farther away in order to focus
- The need to increase the font size on your computer or phone to see more clearly
- Headache when reading or working on computers
- The need for brighter light
The most common treatment for presbyopia is simple over-the-counter reading glasses or progressive “no-line” bifocals. However, for patients who wish to treat presbyopia and correct their vision without glasses, recent technological innovations allow our eye doctors to offer a number of alternative solutions.
For younger patients who have developed presbyopia but have not developed cataracts, we commonly perform a procedure called Monovision LASIK. Monovision LASIK corrects one eye for distance vision, and the other eye for near vision. The brain has the ability to selectively use one or the other eye, depending on whether a patient is trying to look at something up close or far away.
For older patients who have already begun developing cataracts (typically people in their mid-50s or 60s), we use multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) to restore their vision. These are lenses implanted in the eye during cataract surgery. Multifocal IOLs split light into several different focal points within the eye. The brain can selectively use light which is distributing to near, intermediate, or distance, depending on the visual need. Multifocal lenses have revolutionized cataract surgery, and have a very high satisfaction rate.
If you would like to learn more about your options for treating presbyopia and restoring your vision, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Our doctors can help you decide which treatment method can best meet your individual needs.