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Changes: Managing Presbyopia

Did you ever wonder why people over forty need to wear glasses? With age, your eye's lens becomes more and more inflexible, making it less able to focus on handheld objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia. It's something that affects us all.

People with untreated presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. In addition to reading, carrying out other close-range activities, such as sewing or writing, can also lead to eyestrain and discomfort. In order to treat presbyopia, you have several solutions available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.

Reading glasses are good but are generally most useful for those who wear contacts or for those who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. These are readily available, but it is not recommended to get a pair until you have spoken with your optometrist. Too often simple reading glasses may help for quick periods of reading but they can eventually result in eyestrain with extended use. Actually, custom-made reading glasses are a far more effective solution. These can address additional eye issues such as fix astigmatism, accommodate prescriptions which are not the same in both eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of the lenses are adjusted to suit the wearer. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

And if you already own eyeglasses for distance vision, and don't want to switch back and forth between pairs of glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are very popular. These are glasses that have multiple points of focus; the lower section helps you see text and tasks at close distances. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment technique known as monovision, where you wear one contact lens to correct near sightedness in one eye and another to correct far sightedness in the other eye.

Plan to routinely check and possibly adjust your prescriptions, because eyes change with age. But it's also necessary to examine your various choices before deciding what's best for your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.

It's best to speak to your eye care professional for an informed view on the matter. Vision goes through changes as you age and we think it's important that you deal with your vision in the best way possible.