What is Presbyopia?

Inside each one of our eyes there is a natural lens. This natural lens is clear and it is situated behind the colored iris. This lens is flexible and changes shape to focus light so that we are able to focus on objects both close-up and far away. When we are young, this lens is soft and flexible however as we age, the lens becomes more rigid and so it can’t focus on objects as easily as it did before. This makes it harder to read, work at a computer or to do other close-up tasks. This age-related loss of reading vision is called Presbyopia. This usually begins to happen when we are in our 40’s, even if we previously never needed to wear spectacles to see well.

A common sign of presbyopia is needing to hold reading materials further away than you normally would in order for you to be able to focus and see them clearly. This may sometimes also lead to headaches and fatigue and your eyes might start to feel tired or strained. It is a good idea to make an appointment with you eye specialist if you are noticing signs of presbyopia. A routine eye exam is carried out to diagnose presbyopia.

Presbyopia can’t be stopped or reversed however it can be corrected. If you are experiencing presbyopia there are a number of options available to help you to regain normal and clear vision. These options include:

1. Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses with progressive addition lenses are the most commonly used tools for the correction of presbyopia.

Progressive addition lenses or varifocal lenses usually have three viewing areas: distance, intermediate and near-vision. These lenses offer a gradual vision transition between the different prescriptions with no visible lines in between them. Since they have no line in the lens they are the most popular type of multifocal lens

Progressive lenses are typically prescribed for people over 40 who already wear glasses for seeing objects far away but now also need enhanced near vision for reading and enhanced intermediate vision for computer use. Instead of carrying around three different pairs of glasses, these progressive lenses offer three-in-one convenience.

Reading glasses can also be another choice however they are only typically worn when looking at an object which is nearby since they only help you to see close up.

2. Multifocal Contact Lenses

Multifocal contact lenses are also available for the correction of presbyopia. Just progressive addition lenses or varifocal lenses in eyeglasses, multifocal contact lenses have a range of powers in each lens.

Multifocal contact lenses can be very useful if you lead an active lifestyle and wearing eyeglasses all the time is just not practical for you. Alcon offers three brands of soft multifocal contact lenses and each one has its benefits. Alcon’s Dailies Total 1 Multifocal Contact Lenses are the most comfortable contact lenses every created. They help you see near and far without the hassle of carrying reading glasses with you. These lenses are made using a unique water gradient technology which makes them so comfortable that they feel like nothing.

Another option of daily lenses is Alcon’s Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal Contact Lenses. These lenses help you see near and far whilst providing crisp, clear vision and all day comfort with their blink-activated moisture technology. If you prefer wearing monthly contact lenses then the option that suits you best would be Alcon’s Air Optix plus Hydraglyde Multifocal Contact Lenses. These are monthly multifocal lenses which incorporate Alcon’s patented Smart Shield Technology which prevents the buildup of deposits that could occur with use. They also contain a Hydraglyde Moisture Matrix to ensure superior comfort.
It is important to consult with your eye specialist before choosing a pair of multifocal contact lenses.

3. Corrective Eye Surgery

Refractive surgery and new surgical options can also help with presbyopia correction for those that can’t or would rather not wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
As our natural lens continues to change as we grow older, it is important to make regular checkup appointments with your eye specialist as your presbyopic prescription can change over time.