Presbyopia - the Aging Eye

Presbyopia - a definition

Presbyopia is a visual condition that most of us will eventually experience. The term is derived from the Greek word presbys, which means old man. This is an apt name, as the condition appears - like grey hair and wrinkles - as part of the aging process.

Those with presbyopia experience a diminished ability to focus on near objects. A progressive condition, presbyopia generally gets worse with age, even if you've never had vision problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

What causes presbyopia?

There are a number of possible causes of presbyopia, and while the exact mechanisms of the condition are not fully understood, most experts agree that the problem is caused by a loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens - this occurs as a person ages. Research also suggests that presbyopia may be caused by a change in the lens's curvature. And since the lens continues to grow throughout a person's life, it's thought that the combination of the lens's large size in later life, coupled with the loss of strength in the small muscles in the eye - called the ciliary muscle - could be another factor leading to presbyopia. Whatever the exact cause of presbyopia, those with the condition will experience eyestrain, as well as difficulty seeing small objects in dim light. These symptoms usually begin between the ages of 40 and 50 and one of the first signs that people notice is trouble focusing on printed words in books, menus and magazines.

Presbyopia treatment options

If you think you might have presbyopia, the first step towards getting treatment is to have a thorough eye examination. 

Once presbyopia has been diagnosed, the eye care professional will likely ask questions about your lifestyle to help decide which treatment option is the best one for your situation.

In most cases, prescription eye glasses or contact lenses will both be suitable treatments. Bifocal and varifocal contact lenses are all available, which provide the same effect as spectacles, but are often easier options, with the added benefit that they don't alter your appearance.

It's important to remember to get your eyes checked on a regular basis, even after presbyopia has been diagnosed. Because the condition slowly gets worse, these examinations will allow you to monitor any visual deterioration and alter the prescription as necessary.

Depending on your age and other circumstances, you may be eligible for free eye examinations from the NHS.

Correct presbyopia with a new pair of contact lenses

If you have any questions about your vision or the options available for treating presbyopia, the best thing to do is get in touch with your eye care practitioner. They will be able to provide accurate advice customised to your specific requirements. 

Once you're ready to purchase contact lenses to correct your presbyopia, is the perfect choice. Often we can supply exactly the same varifocal or bifocal contact lenses as your Optician, but much cheaper. We can also help you keep up to date with the latest contact lenses news, enabling you to learn all about the most recent discoveries in correcting vision problems like presbyopia.