Aging can bring with it a host of changes to your vision, one of which is presbyopia. Presbyopia is an eye defect that affects a person’s ability to see and read close-up objects.
What Causes Presbyopia
Presbyopia affects the ciliary muscle that is attached to the eye’s lens, which becomes more firm over time. The ciliary muscle usually contracts and relaxes to aid our focus on near and far objects. However, as we grow older, this muscle becomes weaker and the lens becomes more firm, making it difficult to switch focus between far and near objects quickly. This gradual deterioration of the ciliary muscle is common among people in their mid-40s and older.
The Effects Of Presbyopia
If you have presbyopia, you might recognize its symptoms and effects:
1. Inability To Read Small Print: “My Arms Aren’t Long Enough!”
Presbyopia patients find it difficult to read small text on objects while holding them. Presbyopia patients often joke that “my arms aren’t long enough” as they struggle to move written materials further away so they can focus on it. The problem is that the further away the text gets, the smaller it seems to become, further compounding the effects of presbyopia.
If you can’t read the menu at restaurants or see messages on your phone clearly, chances are you have presbyopia.
2. You need bright lights to read
Presbyopia affects the ability to see and read in a low-light environment. As a result, many presbyopia patients use the flashlight on their mobile phones to light menus in restaurants, to read a newspaper, or to read small signs and warnings.
3. Blurry vision
Presbyopia patients experience blurry vision and difficulty focusing, especially when looking at small details like medical prescriptions or small text on their mobile phones. This is because the ciliary muscle can’t switch its focus like it used to, causing small objects to appear blurry.
4. You Squint to See Familiar Images
The need to squint your eyes to see and recognize images that were once familiar is a symptom of presbyopia.
While the above-mentioned symptoms may indicate the effects of presbyopia, you can’t be sure until you have an eye examination with your optometrist.
Presbyopia Care and Treatment
Since presbyopia is an effect of aging, there is no cure yet for this condition. However, here are treatment methods to limit the effects of presbyopia:
Contact lenses help to limit the effects of presbyopia. They are an excellent solution for eye defects and more comfortable than traditional eyeglasses. Presbyopia patients that have allergies or dry eyes may not be able to wear conventional contact lenses. Talk with your optometrist to learn about your options.
Glasses with progressive lenses are a good and long-term treatment option for presbyopia. By design, progressive lenses have 3 sections, each suited to help your vision and focus on objects that are close, mid-range and far from you. The bottom part of the lens will allow you to read text close to you, effectively eliminating the effects of presbyopia.
Vuity Eye Drops
Vuity eye drops are a daytime treatment for presbyopia. When used, Vuity eye drops make the pupils smaller so it’s easier to focus on and read near objects. Unlike other eye drops that may cause reactions or discomfort, Vuity eye drops don’t have severe negative side effects. Learn more about Vuity eye drops.
Presbyopia can be treated with surgery, in which case an ophthalmologist would replace the lens in the eye with a synthetic lens to aid focus and vision.
Other Senior And Middle Age Eye Care Issues
Your vision problems may be due to the normal aging changes of presbyopia, but you could also have a variety of other age-related eye conditions. Visit your optometrist for a screening of presbyopia and the following conditions:
Cataracts are an eye condition that causes a person’s lens to become cloudy over time. This condition is more common among people in their late 50s and older. Cataracts are primarily caused by proteins in the lens that obstruct light rays from reaching the retina and over time can result in very poor vision.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerves through a buildup of fluids in your eye. There are different types of glaucoma and the disease is more common in adults over age 60. Glaucoma is often painless and shows no symptoms until loss of vision occurs, and by then it is too late to treat. That’s why it’s often called “the silent thief of sight.”
Macular degeneration is a 3-stage eye disease that weakens the most sensitive part of your retina called the Macula. This disease affects seniors in their mid-50s and older. While macular degeneration doesn’t cause blindness, it can severely reduce your vision and affect your coordination and ability to perform daily tasks like driving and reading.
Have You Noticed Any Of The Effects Of Presbyopia or Other Vision Problems?
If you or anyone you know is suffering from the effects of presbyopia or other vision problems, you should schedule an appointment today with the office of Dr. Barry Leonard & Associates. You can schedule an appointment online or call 818-891-6711 to get care and treatment options for any senior eye problem.