Usually, as an individual approaches the age of 40, their close-up eyesight gradually starts to blur. This condition is called presbyopia, and it affects the ability to focus on objects that are too close. Presbyopia is a totally natural common part of life. It begins because as we become older, the lenses in our eyes start to thicken. Nearly everyone, even individuals who have had perfect vision their entire lives, may start to realize that they have to adjust food packaging or other objects at an arm's distance to see them well. Some may also notice headaches or eye strain from tasks that never previously bothered them. At our practices in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, our experienced ophthalmologists can talk to you about some great options to improve your eyesight if you have noticed age-related vision problems. If you feel you might have presbyopia, come in for an appointment at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley so we can help you improve your vision.
Men and women who start to experience presbyopia frequently realize that they can't focus on short-range items. A familiar red flag of age-related vision impairment is noticing you have to position objects at arm's distance in order to see them. An additional sign of presbyopia is getting headaches or eye fatigue after certain tasks, such as sewing or using a mobile device, that previously did not cause them. Also very common is the mistaken idea that the fuzzy vision is caused by bad lighting. Presbyopia typically begins to develop at around 40 years of age, and if ignored, its symptoms can become worse.
Although the majority of refractive visual errors are the result of abnormal eye shape, presbyopia is not. As we age, the proteins that help structure the eye's lens start to deteriorate, causing the lens to thicken and making them less malleable. Natural aging also affects the muscle fibers encircling the lens. They slowly become weaker and less flexible. This means it becomes more difficult for the lens to make itself rounder or flatter, which is necessary to focus on a particular item. Both of these changes to the lens progress naturally with age, meaning our vision impairment gradually becomes more pronounced the older we get.
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To correctly diagnose whether you have presbyopia, we will need to complete a comprehensive eye exam. Our ophthalmologists might also perform a few vision tests to establish the severity of your condition and determine the level of correction required. Since presbyopia is a condition associated with the lens of the eye, we may need to use special eye drops to increase the size of your pupils. This will let us carefully examine the inside of your eyes and assess how well your lenses are working. With these tests, we can create the best treatment plan for your particular needs.
The majority of patients correct their presbyopia using eyeglasses with tailored lenses. Among these special types of lenses, progressive and bifocal are the most popular. Progressive lenses do the same job as multifocal lenses; however, they look just like plain glasses because they don't have visible lines. Progressive lenses can create clear vision at multiple distances. Bifocal lenses have a line close to the bottom that separates part of the lens used for up-close vision. If you have additional refractive errors along with presbyopia, both types of glasses can help improve your vision. Some men and women with presbyopia prefer to just use reading glasses (commonly referred to as "cheaters") and remove them when they aren't completing up-close activities.
Patients may also wear multifocal contacts to prevent blurry vision. Additionally, we can discuss monovision contacts as an effective treatment option for patients who experience both presbyopia and myopia. In some cases, patients may choose surgical options that diminish the impact of presbyopia. Our excellent ophthalmologists can help you determine the best form of treatment and evaluate if you are a good candidate for certain surgical procedures.
What are the symptoms of presbyopia?
Over time, as our eyes age, the natural lens that is in our eyes can become less and less flexible. This rigidity can prevent your lens from changing shape easily, and as a result, you may find up-close tasks harder to see. Some things you may notice increasing in difficulty include reading, threading needles, or any other small, detailed tasks that happen in close proximity to your eyes.
Can presbyopia make me blind?
Our vision is a very dear and crucial sense. Patients concerned about their presbyopia need not worry, as they can expect their presbyopia to plateau eventually. Patients should not expect to lose their up-close vision completely from presbyopia alone.
Can presbyopia be cured or managed?
Unfortunately, presbyopia cannot be cured or reversed. However, this condition is easily managed with the help of contacts, glasses, or other systems of supporting vision. Discuss your specific needs and preferences with your provider in your diagnostic appointment here at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley Opthamology Associates of the Valley.
FIGHT AGE-RELATED VISION LOSS
Blurriness in close-up vision, particularly in those over 40 years of age, is practically always presbyopia. Presbyopia is a completely normal, age-related vision impairment. It is fully manageable with the right lenses. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley, our highly skilled team of eye care professionals can help you manage the challenges of declining vision. Call us today at one of our locations in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA to schedule a thorough eye exam. To make it easier for you, we have two convenient locations in Encino and West Hills.