OPHTHALMIC SURGEON
Specialist in Glaucoma, Cataract, Pediatrics

Know all about presbyopia

To better understand your vision and its evolution with age, COP9 has prepared an article with all the key information related to presbyopia: a clear and effective definition, a list of the main symptoms, where to go for a diagnosis and how to correct this vision disorder!

Presbyopia
Presbyopia is characterized by blurred near vision.

What is presbyopia?

A visual defect linked to age, presbyopia corresponds to a progressive loss of the eye’s ability to accommodate the lens (or “focus”) on a close object. This evolution of the visual field is observed from 40-45 years old, the near vision becomes blurred and more difficult.

The COP9 team wishes to remind you that presbyopia is not a disease of the eye, but a progressive degeneration of the lens and its capsule. Anyone with a vision problem (myope, hypermetropia, astigmatic) or someone who has always had good vision, can be affected.

This is a natural aging process of the eye. With time, the lens hardens. This will limit the system acting on it: the ciliary muscle. Its purpose is to increase the convergent power of the eye by contracting. This action allows a clear near vision. But this muscle will have difficulty contracting because the lens becomes harder! This causes a difficulty of accommodation, and thus a blurred near vision.

What are the signs of presbyopia?

For the presbyopia, the quality of vision is naturally altered: the difficulty of focusing as well as the acuity is reduced by 25%.

COP9 presents you with the main symptoms that can be observed in a person with presbyopia: 

  • Blurred vision at close range
  • Extending the arm to be able to read a newspaper or see on a screen.
  • The elbows are bent at right angles, the observed object is at 30-40 centimeters from the eyes.
  • Squinting the eyes to see clearly at close range
  • No change in the visual field to see at a distance 
  • Need for stronger lighting: the more dilated the pupil, the more uncomfortable presbyopia is.
  • Visual fatigue with headaches.
  • Discomfort or even pain around the eyes…

If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of these vision problems, we invite you to make an appointment for a presbyopia diagnosis with one of our specialists in our multidisciplinary optical practice.

How is presbyopia diagnosed?

Your ophthalmologist diagnoses presbyopia by means of a vision examination. He or she will perform a visual acuity test for both near and distance vision using professional instruments. In order to confirm the health of your eyes, the following ophthalmological test may be performed: a dilation of the pupils may be necessary in order to examine the inside of the eye and to have more elements for the diagnosis.

Age is the primary factor in the diagnosis of presbyopia. The loss of visual accommodation, explained earlier in our article, is inevitable. It is not possible to slow it down or stop it. Evolving over about 15 years, the field of vision stabilizes around 55-60 years of age.

The COP9 team invites you to make an ophthalmology appointment every 2 years after the age of 45. Then every year after the age of 60. These ages are indicative, if you notice any eye fatigue or difficulty seeing clearly at normal distance, don’t wait to make an appointment with a vision professional!

How to correct presbyopia?

To correct presbyopia, your ophthalmologist will give you a prescription for corrective lenses at the end of your appointment. Given to your optician, it indicates in diopters the correction to be made thanks to your corrective lenses or contact lenses.

Your near vision correction will be calculated according to the distance correction, then the missing accommodative portion observed in the optical assessment.

The patient may wear uni-focal lenses for good near vision only. They will need progressive lenses for good near and distance vision.

Lens wearers will have the option of continuing to have lenses. Progressive contact lenses are also available. They use compensating techniques, with different geometries.

To conclude this article on presbyopia, the COP9 team wishes to remind you that it is necessary to make several attempts before obtaining the desired result, as well as an optimum visual comfort. Your vision is important, take care of it and ask for the best!

meta: Difficulty seeing and reading up close? Eye fatigue? These are the first signs of presbyopia! Discover in this article all the useful information related to this natural aging of the eye.

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