Presbyopia (also known as age related long-sightedness) is caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye.
As we get older, the lens in our eyes becomes stiffer. This stiffness prevents the lens flexing, which is needed to provide the full range of vision. In particular, it affects the ability to see things up close.
Almost 28% of Australians aged over 55 have symptoms of presbyopia.
What are the symptoms of Presbyopia?
If you are over 40, you may begin to notice that focusing on close objects more difficult (long-sightedness). You need to hold your phone further from your face and generally struggle to read clearly. These classic signs of presbyopia will gradually get worse and eventually glasses will be required to perform tasks requiring near vision.
Can laser eye surgery treat Presbyopia?
Refractive laser eye surgery is used to correct long or short-sightedness in younger people (aged 20-45) however this is not suitable for Presbyopia. Laser eye surgery techniques such as SMILE, LASIK or PRK treat the cornea of the eye, whereas presbyopia is caused by the lens of the eye. So, if you suffer from Presbyopia you need to replace the lens, which closely resembles cataract surgery.
What is a Refractive Lens Exchange?
Much like cataract surgery, a Refractive Lens Exchange is a surgical procedure to replace a stiff lens with a suitable artificial intraocular lens. A suitable lens can be chosen to produce both near, middle and distance vision and remove the need to wear glasses. This lens will last a lifetime.
Will I still need cataract surgery if I undergo a Refractive Lens Exchange?
Given that the natural lens of the eye has been replaced, this removes the need for cataract surgery later in life. There is however a condition known as secondary cataracts that can occur as a result of cataract surgery, although cases are rare.
A big contributor to cataract surgery recovery can come from how you care for your eyes after surgery. Follow these tips so your recovery goes smoothly.
When facing Cataract Surgery your choice of Intraocular Lens (IOL) could make a big difference in your vision outcomes. Learn more about your options here.
Secondary cataracts, while different to regular cataracts have similar symptoms and can occur within a year or two of your cataract surgery.