It is extremely common for presbyopia to cause your near vision to decline as you age. Presbyopia treatment can help with reading and other activities requiring near vision.
Presbyopia and the Eye's Natural Lens
The eye focuses entering light by flexing the natural crystalline lens just below the surface of the eye. Presbyopia occurs when the lens loses flexibility with age, making it increasingly difficult to focus on close-up items, according the National Eye Institute.
Presbyopia can begin as early as age 35, and often progresses as you age. Most people will experience this condition, but the age of onset and severity vary drastically. One person may have one eye more affected than the other, and presbyopia can be accompanied by other vision problems including cataracts, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
Presbyopia can be treated with corrective lenses or with surgery. There are a several options, and a few factors can help determine which is the best presbyopia treatment for you.
PreLex™: Presbyopic Lens Exchange
The onset of presbyopia is the first sign of developing cataracts, another common age-related vision problem. Once the lens begins to harden as you approach your 40's, it is just a matter of time until your lens begins to cloud. A cataract is cloudiness in the lens. For patients with cataracts and presbyopia, the presbyopic lens exchange (PreLex™) procedure is may be the best option. PreLex™ involves removing the lens that is causing both of these conditions and replacing it with an artificial multifocal lens. Residual astigmatism after PreLex™ can be corrected with LASIK.
For younger patients (under 50) with little or no sign of cataracts, the preferred presbyopia treatment is often to perform LASIK on one eye. This results in monovision, in which you have one eye optimized for distance while the other can see close objects clearly. The near-vision eye can function well enough at distance, and vice versa for the distance-vision eye, to provide depth perception. Monovision takes some getting used to and is not for everyone; before giving you monovision, your doctor may have you try it out by wearing one contact lens.
Enhanced Cataract Surgery
Another option available at Woodhams Eye Clinic is enhanced cataract surgery. This is a variant on PreLex™, in which different artificial aspherical lenses replace the natural lenses in each eye, resulting in monovision. For some patients, this may provide the best combination of distance and close-up vision.
As with most medical procedures, presbyopia treatment depends on the unique characteristics of your body. If you are having difficulty reading up close, there is probably a treatment that can help you.
Would you like to talk to someone here at Woodhams about addressing or treating your presbyopia? Enter your information below and one of our patient care advocates will reach out to you or you can call us at 770-394-4000.
Image source: Flickr