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Overcoming Presbyopia: What You Should Know

Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that often starts at around age 40, causing blurred vision. It affects almost everyone, even those who haven’t experienced vision problems before.

When presbyopia begins, you can squint and hold reading material farther to let your eyes focus better. Common symptoms include headache, eyestrain, and fatigue.

It is believed that presbyopia happens because of the changes to the eye lens as you age, making it more difficult for your eyes to focus on items positioned close to you.

For decades, presbyopia has been treated with bifocal eyeglasses. But today, there are other vision correction options for this eye condition, including daily multifocal contacts for presbyopia.

Read further to learn more about presbyopia and how you can deal with it.

Presbyopia and its causes

To see things clearly, light rays enter your eyes, where the lenses bend and focus them on your retina. The lenses then change their shape to let your eye focus on items at different distances.

As you reach the age of ten, your lenses gradually stiffen and begin to lose their capability to change shape. Such a change happens within the proteins in the eye lens or in the muscle fibers that surround the lens. Because of the lenses’ decreasing elasticity, it gets harder for your eyes to focus on nearby objects.

By the time you are forty, the lens will have trouble focusing on nearby objects, and you begin to suffer from blurred vision each time you perform tasks that entail up-close focus. Your lenses continue to stiffen as you age until all their flexibility is lost.

Treatment options

Presbyopia was once only treated with reading glasses. Today, there are other treatment options - thanks to new technology!

Multifocal contacts lenses

When it comes to contact lenses for presbyopia, multifocal contacts are the most preferred option, as they have several capabilities and powers. The simplest form is bifocal contacts, which can accommodate two prescriptions. Other designs are similar to progressive eyeglasses. Some are also designed for daily wear, eliminating the hassle of lens care.

The good thing about contacts for presbyopia is that you can wear them comfortably temporarily. This means that they are excellent options for occasions or weekends when you don’t want to use them daily.

Moreover, multifocal contacts come in two basic designs – simultaneous vision design and segmented multifocal design.

  • In simultaneous vision designs, different zones of the lenses are designated for near and far vision. You can either opt for the concentric design featuring alternating capabilities arranged in concentric circles or the aspheric design that gradually changes from near-to-distance (or distance-to-near) from the center of the lens.
  • On the other hand, segmented multifocal designs are like bifocal and trifocal eyeglass lenses. They have a zone for near vision in the lower half of the lens and an area for distance vision in the central and upper zones of the lens. Each prescription is separated by a district border in the lenses.

To boost your success with using multifocal contacts, you must manage your expectations. The lenses may not match the clarity you get with progressive or bifocal eyeglass lenses.

It is also possible that you will still need reading glasses or single vision eyeglasses for certain tasks, like reading small print and driving at night. But one thing is for sure – multifocal contact lenses will provide you with an acceptable vision for daily activities without the need to use supplemental eyeglasses.

Furthermore, you need to know and practice proper contact lenses care, including using the correct contact lens solution. After all, how you care for your lenses will affect their efficacy and longevity.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for presbyopia are also available in several options, including:

  • Bifocal eyeglasses – These glasses have a near vision prescription at the lower zone of the lens and a distance vision prescription at the top area.
  • Progressive eyeglasses – In addition to the capabilities of bifocal eyeglasses, the progressive option includes a smooth progression of power between each prescription for viewing intermediate distances.

Depending on how severe your vision problem is, you may only use your glasses when you are reading.

Surgery

There are also surgical options for treating presbyopia. These include:

  • Monovision LASIK – This procedure can minimize the need for reading glasses. It involves correcting the distance vision of the dominant eye and intentionally making the non-dominant eye a bit nearsighted. So after the surgery, the dominant eye provides clear distance vision while the non-dominant eye sharpens near vision. In some cases, special-purpose contact lenses or eyeglasses are prescribed for performing activities that call for additional distance vision clarity, such as driving at night.
  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) – This procedure shrinks collagen fibers in the cornea’s periphery using low-level radio frequency energy to steepen the central cornea. As a result, the too-short eyeball lengthens, providing a boost in up-close focusing power. A differentiating feature of CK is that it is slightly invasive, and there is a noticeable improvement in reading vision immediately after surgery. Some people have experienced vision fluctuations, tearing, and foreign-body sensation post-surgery, but such discomfort is just temporary.
  • Corneal inlays – This procedure involves implanting a corneal inlay (a tiny device that can help correct presbyopia) in the cornea to restore close-up vision.

Tech advancements in biomaterials, surgical instruments, and engineering and improvements in surgical capabilities have transformed surgical restoration of accommodation from a theory into real practice. Still, much work remains to ensure guaranteed results.

There is no way to reverse or stop the aging process, which is the primary cause of presbyopia. No one is exempted from this eye condition, even if you haven’t experienced any vision problem previously.

However, this does not mean that it should be disregarded. If not managed or treated early, it can lead to vision impairment or loss, thus reducing your quality of life and productivity. So if you are experiencing symptoms of presbyopia, speak with the best eye doctor in Dubai to figure out the best treatment option for you.

And if you choose to go with eyeglasses or contacts, know that getting them online is now possible. Look for reputable online optical shops that promise excellent quality for their products and ensure the timely and safe delivery of all your orders.


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