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What is presbyopia?

A person holds a book up to be read.

Presbyopia first begins to affect up-close vision in patients near 40 years of age

Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close objects.  The definition of “close” depends on  what kind of hobbies you have and what you do for a living, though it is usually anything within about 10 feet.  Our eye doctors at Vista Eye Care in Thornton, Colorado are here to help you maintain clear, comfortable vision.


Who gets presbyopia?

The short answer: everyone.  Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of crystalline lens flexibility takes place over a number of years.  Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40’s, though trouble with near vision can start at 35 years of age.  Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process of the eye.  It is not a disease and it cannot be prevented.


How is presbyopia diagnosed?

Presbyopia slowly emerges as a problem for people, and comprehensive eye exams can identify its early warning signs.  Early treatment can prevent presbyopia from interfering with your life.  Because the effects of presbyopia continue to change the ability of the crystalline lens to focus properly, periodic changes in corrective lenses may be necessary to maintain clear and comfortable vision.


What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

Some signs of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at arm’s length, blurred vision at normal reading distance, eye fatigue, and headaches when doing close work.  A comprehensive examination at Vista Eye Care will include testing for presbyopia, and any recommendations for treatment.  Our eye doctors take a great deal of time to trial frame, or test out your reading/computer powers before we grind the power into lenses.


How is presbyopia treated?

To help you live with presbyopia, our optometrists may prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, progressive lenses, or contact lenses.  Because presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, we will determine the specific lenses to allow you to see clearly and comfortably.  Most patients opt for progressive lenses which allow for fantastic vision at all distances.  The Autograph II lens can provide excellent distance, intermediate, and near vision all while providing a wide field of view.  You may only need to wear your glasses for close work like reading, but you may find that wearing them all the time is more convenient and beneficial for your vision needs.


What are progressive lenses?

Progressive lenses are a special type of custom-made multifocal spectacle lens that allows the patient to see clearly at all distances.  Progressive lenses also eliminate the harsh lines of standard bifocals and trifocals.  Progressive lenses provide the focusing power necessary for clear, comfortable vision, leaving the crystalline lens inside the eye relaxed.  This can result in better clarity and comfort.


Can contact lenses be used to manage presbyopia?

Contact lenses come in a variety of options that can allow for good near as well as distance vision for presbyopic patients.  Monovision is a fitting technique that corrects one eye for distance and one eye for near vision.  Multifocal lenses including the Purevision Multifocal, Proclear Multifocal, can allow both eyes to see clearly at both distance and near.  At Vista Eye Care, you will be thoroughly educated on your options, and for many patients, using contact lenses to treat presbyopia works quite well.


What are the surgical options to correct presbyopia?

Current surgical techniques are limited to assigning a single focal distance to each eye.  What that means is that each eye can only be set to a single distance of focus.  Refractive surgical correction of presbyopia may assign one eye for distance vision, and another eye for near (reading) vision.  Intermediate tasks such as computer use will typically be corrected with spectacles.  Dr. Abert or Dr. Pedroza will discuss your surgical options with you.

Contact our office today at (303) 450-2020 to schedule your annual comprehensive eye exam, or use the button below to schedule your appointment online.

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