Learning More About: Presbyopia

What is presbyopia and what are common presbyopia treatments?

Presbyopia Overview:

Presbyopia is a term to describe an eye condition that makes it difficult to focus on objects near to you. Unlike farsightedness, presbyopia specifically affects how you see items "up close" – you may find yourself holding printed materials at arm's length, or squinting more often to help "focus" on nearby objects.

Presbyopia occurs naturally as eyes age and the structure of the lens responsible for focusing images changes. This results in images focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the human eye responsible for processing images.

Presbyopia treatments include corrective lenses like eyeglasses (commonly called bifocal or trifocal lenses—also known as progressive lenses) or special multi-focal contact lenses. Presbyopia occurs primarily in people over age 35, and is a condition almost everyone experiences with age, though some to a much greater degree than others.

Presbyopia Symptoms:

Signs you might need presbyopia treatment include difficulty in reading fine print, or having to hold reading material at arm's length to properly see it. Problems seeing objects close to you, experiencing eye strain under what seem like normal, well-lit vision conditions, and occasionally suffering headaches after using your eyes for extended periods of time are all possible symptoms of presbyopia.

Presbyopia is an aging condition and typically happens in both eyes at once.

Presbyopia Treatment:

Only an eyecare professional can accurately detect, diagnose and treat presbyopia. That's why routine comprehensive eyecare exams are so important to maintaining healthy vision and healthy sight.

Presbyopia treatments typically include getting a prescription for corrective eyewear or contact lenses that provide clear fields of vision for both distance vision and near vision. (Also called multi-focal vision). These help the eyes focus images correctly on the retina, rather than in front of it, at multiple distances.

The information seen here is for reference purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose or prescribe any specific treatment(s). For all questions and concerns about your vision, eye health and potential eye problems, please consult an eyecare professional.

Special thanks to the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, for source material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the NEI/NIH website.

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