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Presbyopia: Managing the Inevitable

Ever wonder why it gets harder to see small print as you get older? Because as you age, your eye's lens grows more rigid, decreasing your ability to focus on close objects. We call this presbyopia.

Those with untreated presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length to be able to focus properly. In addition to reading, performing other tasks at close range, such as needlepoint or writing, can also lead to eyestrain and discomfort in people with this condition. In order to treat presbyopia, you have a few alternatives, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

The thing with reading glasses is that they are only useful for contact lens wearers or for people who don't wear glasses for correcting distance vision. Although reading glasses are readily available at pharmacies or drugstores, it's advised not to get them until you've seen the results of a thorough eye examination. Lots of people don't know that reading glasses may help for quick periods of reading but they can result in eyestrain when people wear them for a long time. Actually, custom-made readers are a far more effective solution. They can address additional eye issues such as fix astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of the lenses are adjusted to meet the needs of whoever is wearing them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

And if you already have eyeglasses to fix myopia, and would rather just wear one pair of glasses at a time, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). These are eyeglasses with more than one point of focus; the bottom part helps you see at close range. If you use contacts, call us to discuss multifocal contact lenses. Additionally, you may be able to benefit from a treatment approach which is called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

You need to routinely check and possibly adjust the strength of your lenses, because eyes change over time. But it's also crucial to research your options before you decide the direction you want head in when it comes to your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery.

We recommend you speak to your optometrist for an unbiased perspective. We can give you the tools to help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that's both beneficial and accessible.

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