If you are over 40 and squinting to read this page without any form of visual assistance, chances are you may be developing presbyopia. Presbyopia is also known as age-related long-sightedness or more commonly, a loss of your near vision due to age.
If you have presbyopia, you are not alone, it affects over a billion people around the world. While the impacts to vision are not as drastic as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration, it does affect your day-to-day vision preventing ultra-common tasks such as reading, using a mobile phone, computer or many manual tasks that need you to see things up close.
Presbyopia is due to a stiffening of the natural lens of the eye, which prevents it flexing enough to provide the eye with its full range of vision. There are a number of short and long-term treatments for Presbyopia. The following options may be recommended to you by your eye doctor depending on your specific eye structure, vision quality, lifestyle preferences and of course budget.
1. Over the counter reading glasses
The simplest and most common solution for Presbyopia is reading glasses. Often these can be bought over the counter at a chemist or even service station. These generally have magnifications from +1.00 up to around +3.00. These can help overcome the early stages of Presbyopia and will usually worn only when needing to perform activities that need better near vision.
Pros of over-the-counter reading glasses
Cons of over-the-counter reading glasses
2. Prescription reading glasses
Prescription reading glasses may be required if you’re not able to get the right vision quality from what’s available in over-the-counter glasses. These are prescribed by your eye doctor.
Pros of prescription reading glasses
Cons of prescription reading glasses
3. Contact lenses
To avoid the need for glasses, contact lenses have provided a popular alternative and specific presbyopia contact lenses can be prescribed to overcome the deterioration in near vision as you age.
Pros of contact lenses
Cons of contact lenses
4. Monovision LASIK
This surgical procedure is a form of laser eye surgery that makes a refractive correction to the cornea of the dominant eye to allow for distance vision and an adjustment to the other eye to assist near vision. The brain then adjusts its reliance on each eye based on the type of vision required.
Pros of Monovision LASIK
Cons of Monovision LASIK
5. Refractive Lens Exchange
Given the cause of presbyopia is to do with the natural lens of the eye, a Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) replaces this lens with an artificial lens. This is the most direct treatment to overcome the loss of near vision. When combined with a tri-focal replacement lens you may dispense the need for glasses and as an added bonus, avoid cataract surgery later in life.
Pros of Refractive Lens Exchange
1. Based on outcomes at Envison Eye Centre for cataract surgery
Cons of Refractive Lens Exchange
When looking to improve your near vision as you age there are quite a few options. To consider all the alternatives available to you it’s best to see your eye doctor. After an assessment of your vision they can recommend the options to you to consider based on your lifestyle, preference or vision outcome.
Envision Eye Centre are well placed to provide advice for patients with Presbyopia. We regularly perform Refractive Lens Exchange procedures for patients. We are proud of our results achieving 20:20 vision for 90% of patients following surgery. If you are losing your near vision as you age, book an appointment to discuss your options for overcoming Presbyopia.