Presbyopia eye care
Age-related farsightedness - presbyopia - is a common condition that affects vision. If you are farsighted, you are able to see objects that are far away clearer than objects that are close. Over half of adults over the age of 65 have some degree of farsightedness, due to the natural aging of the eye’s lens. Muscles in the eye expand and constrict to help the lens focus on images nearer and farther away. As the lens hardens with age, it loses the ability to constrict to see close-up images. If the lens is unable to change its shape to improve focus, objects nearer to the eye may become blurry.
- Nearby objects appear blurry or out of focus
- Difficulty with reading
- Squinting to see clearly
- Eyestrain: A dull pain, or burning sensation in the eyes
Presbyopia develops with age. Nearly everyone will experience some degree of farsightedness as they age past 40 years old. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or cardiovascular problems may also contribute to premature or more quickly developing presbyopia.
Farsightedness is usually diagnosed through an eye exam performed by an eye care provider, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist. If you notice that you are experiencing vision problems, or are unable to perform daily tasks, talk to an eye care specialist. Even if your symptoms of farsightedness are mild, the condition can lead to complications such as crossed eyes, persistent headaches, and eyestrain if left untreated.
Treatment for farsightedness will depend on your age and the severity of your condition. Below are common options to reduce and manage the symptoms of farsightedness. During your appointment, talk to your eye care provider about treatment options, and the best plan for you.
Prescription lenses are the simplest, most common methods of treating refractive errors. The exact prescription of the lens will depend on the severity of your farsightedness, and any discrepancies in vision between your two eyes. The most common prescription lenses are:
- Eyeglasses: The lenses in eyeglasses will adjust how light enters your eye. By correcting a flat cornea, or a shorter-than-normal eyeball, eyeglasses can help reduce the blurring of nearby objects.
- Contact lenses: Contacts are placed directly on the eye. These lenses correct how light bends and enter the eye, improving blurred vision. Contact lenses are available in several different materials and designs. Not every contact lens is right for every eye, however. During your appointment, talk to your eye care provider about the different types of contact lenses, contact lens care, and what type of lens is best for you.
Surgery to correct a refractive error is usually an elective procedure that you can choose to undergo. Refractive surgery is generally performed with a laser and re-shapes the curvature of the eye to correct any errors in the lens or cornea. The most common types of refractive surgeries are laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK), and Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). These procedures can be expensive and require several days of recovery time. However, they can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses. Talk to your eye care provider about the pros and cons of refractive surgery.