Presbyopia is the normal loss of the ability to focus at near that occurs with age. Most people begin to notice the effects after age 40, when they start having trouble seeing small print clearly. These changes continue until around age 55, when the changes plateau. Presbyopia is caused by the gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye. With less elasticity, the eye has a harder time focusing up close.
Some of the symptoms of presbyopia are:
If your presbyopia is not corrected, you can experience:
Reading glasses: If presbyopia is your only vision problem (you do not have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism), glasses may be all you need. Reading glasses help correct close-up vision problems by bending (refracting) light before it enters your eye. They can be bought without a prescription, but the specific power of reading glasses that you need should be determined by an eye exam.
Bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses: If you already wear eyeglasses for other vision problems, now you might need bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses.
Contact lenses: Some people prefer to wear contact lenses rather than eyeglasses. There are two types of contact lenses that help presbyopia:
Refractive surgery: Some people decide to have surgery to achieve monovision. This can reduce their need for glasses for near and far objects. Using a laser, an ophthalmologist reshapes the cornea for clear far vision in one eye and close-up vision in the other. In many ways, this is like wearing monovision contact lenses. Your ophthalmologist may suggest that you try monovision lenses before having LASIK surgery. That way you can tell if monovision is a comfortable option for you.