An introduction to presbyopia
- Presbyopia is the normal age-related loss of your ability to focus on near objects (for example mobile phones, books, labels). The term comes from Latin words that mean “aging eyes”
- Many people in their early 40s and 50s will experience these presbyopia symptoms
- Today, we can treat presbyopia with laser vision correction
Presbyopia symptoms and lifestyle impact
Many people in their early 40s and 50s will experience these presbyopia symptoms:
- eyestrain when reading
- difficulty keeping reading material in low light conditions
- the inability to read small print
- the need to hold reading material further away to see it clearly
Causes of presbyopia
Presbyopia occurs when the lens inside your eye (the clear structure that is about the size of a Smartie) begins to lose its flexibility.
Normally, the muscles around the lens can change its shape. When you look at something far away, the circular muscle relaxes. When you look at something up close, the muscle contracts. That allows the relatively elastic lens to curve. In that way, it changes the focusing power.
As we age, the lens hardens. As it becomes less flexible, it can no longer change shape to focus on images that are up close. As a result, they appear out of focus.
There is no evidence that suggests you can prevent presbyopia. Everyone will notice it when they reach 50 years of age.
For about 1000 years, the approach to compensating for presbyopia was to wear reading glasses. Today, however, we now can correct presbyopia with laser vision correction. It’s called laser blended vision (or PRESBYOND), and we were the first to offer this technology in Canada (surgeons in Europe have been successfully using this technique since 2004).
Presbyopia treatment details
For details on how laser vision correction for presbyopia works, see Laser Blended Vision (PRESBYOND).
The laser blended vision treatment works
In a study of 136 shortsighted presbyopic patients, 111 farsighted presbyopic patients, and 88 emmetropic patients (patients with no other refractive error), 99% of previously shortsighted patients, 94% of farsighted patients and 99% of emmetropic patients could see J3 (better than newsprint) after the procedure. 1
Another study, this one a 3-year follow up study, found that “Laser Blended Vision(®) is an excellent option, well tolerated, stable and effective for patients with presbyopia and myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia or emmetropia, also avoiding an intraocular procedure.” 2
An intraocular procedure (similar to laser cataract surgery) is another option for correction of presbyopia that we’d be happy to discuss. However, you should know from the start that the risks of an operation ‘inside the eye’ far exceeds the risks of a less invasive procedure like laser blended vision.
Eye exercises may offer temporary relief and improve overall eye health, but they are not proven to reverse presbyopia. Presbyopia, linked to the natural aging process, results in reduced flexibility of the eye's lens. While exercises like focusing on different distances may help with eye strain, consulting an eye care professional like Clearview Vision for corrective measures, such as surgery, is essential for effectively managing presbyopia.
Yes, presbyopia tends to worsen over time. As individuals age, the natural aging process causes the eye's lens to lose flexibility gradually. This ongoing loss of flexibility leads to an increased difficulty in focusing on close-up objects. It is common for the symptoms of presbyopia, such as the need for reading glasses, to progress and become more pronounced as the years go by. Regular eye check-ups are essential to monitor the progression of presbyopia and to adjust corrective measures as needed.
While maintaining a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet and regular exercise is beneficial for overall eye health, there's limited evidence to directly influence presbyopia, an age-related condition caused by the natural aging of the eye's lens. Lifestyle choices may contribute to maintaining good vision and potentially delaying age-related eye conditions, but presbyopia is typically addressed through corrective measures like reading glasses or surgery. Regular eye check-ups remain essential for monitoring eye health and addressing any vision changes associated with presbyopia.
Presbyopia typically begins to manifest around the age of 40. This age-related condition gradually affects the eye's ability to focus on close-up objects, leading to difficulties with tasks like reading or working on a computer. Regular eye examinations are recommended to monitor and address vision changes, ensuring appropriate corrective measures are taken as presbyopia progresses.
Presbyopia can affect daily life by causing difficulty in reading small print, blurred vision for close-up tasks, eye strain, and dependence on adequate lighting for clarity. Engaging in activities like reading or using electronic devices may require the use of reading glasses or other corrective measures. Hobbies involving close visual work can be impacted, emphasizing the importance of regular eye examinations to address and manage presbyopia for optimal daily functioning.
Presbyopia naturally occurs in our 40s and describes the inability to focus at near when we are corrected for distance. During our early years, the natural lens inside of our eye acts like an autofocus camera and is able to focus near, intermediate and far through our distance correction. The natural lens slowly loses its flexibility with time, and usually in our 40s the natural lens is not able to focus for near viewing anymore. This slowly progresses and can affect the intermediate viewing as well. Presbyopia progresses into our 60s as our natural lens slowly changes. This is normal
Your eyecare professional can prescribe glasses to help you see near and intermediate better. This may be in the form of bifocal glasses, progressive lenses, multifocal contact lenses or monovision contact lenses. Surgical options are also available, such as Laser Vision Correction or Multifocal Intraocular Lenses.
No. Presbyopia is not a blinding eye disease.
Maturity! The natural lens inside of our eye which is flexible in our early years become less flexible with time. This makes near viewing more challenging with time. This may be because you have some uncorrected farsightedness, or it may be because you are in your mid40s and presbyopia is setting in
Dear Dr. Kranemann, Many thanks in the nice, smooth and trouble free cataract surgery you carried out on both my eyes at Clearview Institute. I would like also to extend my thanks to all the staff of clearview. They are efficient, kind hearted and very helpful.
Dr. Kranemann is exceptionally intelligent and experienced. He is passionate about achieving perfect results for his patients, and proved it by correcting my father’s vision perfectly. We are very happy and grateful and highly recommend Dr. Kranemann.
Had the new vision correction procedure SMILE. WOW is all I can say. Life without glasses is amazing. Great surgeon and medical staff. Will refer his expertise on to family and friends.