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Presbyopia is a visual condition in which the lens loses its flexibility. This results in difficulty focusing on close objects. During the early and middle years of life, the crystalline lens of the eye has the ability to focus both near and distant images by getting thicker for near objects and thinner for distant objects. When this ability is lost, presbyopia results.

Presbyopia makes it difficult to focus on close objects
Symptoms of presbyopia:
  • Blurry close vision that starts after age 40
  • Difficulty adjusting focus when switching from near to distance vision
  • Eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work
Causes of presbyopia:
  • Age: As we age, the lenses in the eyes lose some of their elasticity, and without elasticity they lose some of their ability to change focus for different distances. Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-forties.
Diagnosing presbyopia:

A comprehensive examination will include testing for presbyopia. Your eye doctor can conduct a refractive evaluation to determine whether your eyes focus light rays exactly on the retina at distance and at near. A visual acuity test will determine your ability to see sharply and clearly at all distances.

Treatment of presbyopia:

Reading glasses and contact lenses are used by many for the treatment of presbyopia.  Some presbyopic patients like monovision, which allows them to see distance clearly in one eye and close-up clearly with the other eye.

Laser vision correction (LASIK or PRK) can be performed to provide monovision in patients that desire to reduce their dependence on reading glasses or contact lenses.

Patients undergoing cataract surgery or refractive lensectomy have the option of obtaining multi-focal or accommodative intra-ocular lenses, which can reduce dependence on reading glasses. The surgeons of Karlik Ophthalmology discuss these options with all of our surgical patients.

Presbyopia can be present in combination with other types of refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.