Preparing For Presbyopia Awareness Month in April

Woman struggling to read book

Symptoms and Treatments For Age-Related Presbyopia

Did your parents or grandparents joke that they couldn't read the type in a book or on the back of a medicine bottle because their arms were suddenly too short? Once you pass age 40, you just may find yourself complaining about the same problem. Called "presbyopia," the condition affects your ability to see near objects clearly.

How Presbyopia Affects Your Vision

Aging causes many changes in your body, from gray hairs to stiffening of the lenses inside your eyes. Located behind the iris inside your eye, the clear, disc-shaped lens focuses light rays on to the retina at the back of your eye. The retina converts the rays into signals and sends them to the brain. Once the brain receives the signals, it transforms them into recognizable images.

The shape of your lens constantly changes to allow you to view objects at various distances. The shape-shifting ensures that light rays are correctly focused on your retina no matter how near or far the object or image. Although the lenses are very flexible when you're younger, they stiffen with age. When this happens, it becomes difficult to focus on close objects. As a result, words on a page or screen look blurry and out of focus.

Presbyopia isn't a sign of serious eye disease and happens to practically everyone, even people who've had perfect vision their whole lives. Although you'll still be able to see objects in the distance clearly, your near vision will suffer as you grow older.

Ways to Cope with Presbyopia

These treatments and strategies can help you see more clearly when viewing near objects:

  • Reading Glasses. Reading glasses improve your near vision, making it easy to see up close once again. Although the glasses are available in stores, you'll have to guess which lens power is best for you if you buy reading glasses at the grocery store. When you visit your eye doctor, you'll receive a precise lens prescription that will make your near vision sharp and clear. During the visit, you'll receive a thorough eye exam, which will help you ensure that the change in your vision is caused by presbyopia and not cataracts, diabetic eye disease or other conditions.
  • Bifocals, Trifocals and Progressive Eyeglass Lenses. These lenses can be good choices if you already wear glasses due to myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism (blurred vision due to an irregularly shaped cornea). Bifocals combines two viewing powers in one lens, each separated by a noticeable line, while trifocals combine three powers. Progressive lenses offer multiple powers without any lines.
  • Contact Lenses. Bifocals, trifocals, and progressive lenses aren't the only solutions if you have presbyopia in addition to myopia, astigmatism or hyperopia. Manufacturers also often contact lenses that contain multiple powers.
  • Magnifiers. A magnifying glass can help you thread a needle or decipher the assembly instructions that came with your new bookshelf. Magnifying mirrors make it easier to put on makeup or complete other grooming tasks.
  • Laser Refractive Surgery. The surgery changes the shape of your cornea (the clear layer of tissue that covers your iris and pupil) with a laser, sharpening your vision. If you have presbyopia, your eye doctor may recommend correcting one eye for distance vision and one for near vision. Your eyes compensate for the difference and work together to provide good near and far vision. Before having the surgery, your eye doctor may recommend that you wear contact lenses that mimic the results of the surgery, as this solution isn't comfortable for everyone.
  • Corneal Inlays. Inlays are tiny devices implanted in the center of your cornea. Corneal inlays offer the newest way to treat presbyopia and work by increasing the depth of focus in the middle of the cornea, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They can only be used if you don't have myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.

Have you been having trouble seeing close objects lately? Presbyopia Awareness Month, held every April, is the perfect time to schedule an eye exam. Contact us to make your appointment.

Sources:

American Academy of Ophthalmology: Corneal Inlays: A Surgical Alternative to Reading Glasses, 5/23/19

American Academy of Ophthalmology: What is Presbyopia?, 1/13/20

Harvard Health Publishing: Presbyopia, 5/17

National Eye Association: Presbyopia

Click here or call (205) 995-6313 to make an appointment.

Monday:

9:00am

5:00pm

Tuesday:

9:00am

5:00pm

Wednesday:

9:00am

5:00pm

Thursday:

9:00am

5:00pm

Friday:

9:00am

5:00pm

Saturday:

9:00am

5:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Locations

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "We use Anderson Optometry for all of our family’s vision needs. Recently, we had to have our youngest fitted for new glasses and he made the experience fun for her and informative for us. We know Dr. Anderson will always take good care of our family’s eye care and that’s why we wouldn’t go to anywhere else."
    The Harrison Family
  • "Dr. Anderson and his staff are so patient and friendly. Dr. Anderson prescribed me glasses and I had the toughest time picking out frames. They didn’t rush, but instead made helpful suggestions and now I have an awesome pair of frames, not to mention the fact that I can see ten times better than before. You guys are the best!"
    Shelly
  • "I’ve been going to Dr. Anderson for over five years now and even though I only see him once a year for my annual exam, he and his staff always make me feel very welcome and take care of all my eye care needs. Anderson Optometry is the best at what they do and make you feel right at home."
    Anthony
  • "I was having headaches and felt my contacts were easily drying out all the time. I went in to see Dr. Anderson and after an evaluation, he suggested a switch in the type of lenses I use. Within a week of using the new lenses, I noticed a change and haven’t had any problems since. Thanks, Dr. Anderson!"
    Matt
  • "I had considered Lasik surgery in the past, but was still hesitant about the process. Dr. Anderson was very thorough in his consultation with me and answered all of my questions, making me feel comfortable with going forward with the procedure. I’m so glad I did the Lasik, it has been of great convenience to me and my sight has never been better"
    Carol

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Wandering Eye

    A wandering eye is a type of eye condition known as strabismus or tropia, and it may be caused by damage to the retina or muscles that control the eye, stroke or brain injury, or an uncorrected refractive error like farsightedness. With a wandering eye, one eye deviates or wanders in a different direction ...

    Read More
  • Reading and Writing

    For many adults, reading and writing come so naturally that they seem almost effortless. However, reading and writing are actually complicated skills that take significant effort to learn. For example, reading involves recognizing letters, associating letter combinations with their corresponding sounds, ...

    Read More
  • Lazy Eye

    Lazy eye, also referred to as amblyopia, is a condition that develops in infancy or early childhood, and it typically starts when the focus in one eye is more enhanced than the other. The eye with less focus might be impaired due to a significant amount of farsightedness or astigmatism, or something ...

    Read More
  • Dyslexia

    Dyslexia When a child has difficulty reading due to problems recognizing speech sounds and learning how they connect to words and letters, the condition is known as dyslexia, a learning disorder caused by genetic traits that disturb how the brain works. It affects areas of the brain dealing with language ...

    Read More
  • Crossed Eyes

    Crossed eyes, also known as strabismus, refer to a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. Often times they both turn in, but may also turn out. What Causes Crossed Eyes? The six muscles attached to each eye, which control how it moves, receive signals from the brain. ...

    Read More
  • Autism

    Symptoms and Problems Caused By Autism Autism is a neurological disorder in which the person has difficulty processing and reacting to information received from their senses. The individual also has trouble communicating and interacting socially. Signs of autism include: Lack of shared social interaction Postponement ...

    Read More
  • ADD/ADHD

    Approximately 11% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to recent studies. The central symptoms of ADHD -- difficulty sustaining attention, poor control of behavior, hyperactivity -- make it difficult for children to succeed in school. ...

    Read More
  • Ocular Motor Dysfunction

    Parents are often aware of the need to screen children for nearsightedness or farsightedness, but fewer know about other pediatric vision problems. Ocular motor dysfunction is a condition that often manifests in childhood, although adults may also have this disorder. Because ocular motor dysfunction ...

    Read More
  • Convergence Insufficiency

    Convergence insufficiency is a relatively common eye condition that is typically diagnosed in childhood. A study of two large optometry clinics found that 17.6% of children who received vision exams had convergence insufficiency. As this disorder may cause difficulty focusing on written pages, some children ...

    Read More
  • Accommodative Dysfunction

    Simply put, accommodative dysfunction means that the eyes have difficulty focusing properly. Studies suggest that between 2 and 17% of children may suffer from accommodative dysfunction. The nature of this disorder means that it sometimes goes unnoticed in standard vision screenings conducted at school. ...

    Read More
No form settings found. Please configure it.