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Health

Understanding Presbyopia

Have you increased the font size on your phone in order to see text messages lately? Are you reading restaurant menus at arm's length? Did you recently celebrate a forty “something” birthday? If so, then you may want to get your eyes checked! You may be experiencing symptoms of presbyopia. 

No need to be alarmed! Presbyopia is not a serious condition. In fact, this is an inevitable and natural part of aging. As difficult as aging may be to accept, you may find solace in knowing that we will all have presbyopia at some point in our lives. 

Presbyopia, which translates to ''old man'' in Greek, is the gradual hardening and stiffening of the protein in the eyes’ lens. When we are young, our lenses are malleable and change shape in order to provide sharp images to our retinas but, as we age, the lens loses its elasticity making it difficult to focus when looking at something up-close. 

Despite it being an irreversible condition, there are treatments available to help you focus on what is right in front of you. 

First and most importantly, make an appointment with your IRIS optometrist! Left untreated, presbyopia can cause eyestrain and headaches. Your eye doctor will help determine the best treatment option based on your needs and lifestyle. 

A typical treatment is eyeglasses. They are definitely a good solution to the issues caused by presbyopia. If you already wear prescription glasses, your prescription can be adjusted to accommodate your different vision issues with multi-focal, bifocal or progressive lenses. When selecting the type of lenses for your prescription, you may be suggested to consider photochromic lenses. Since presbyopia can make your eyes more sensitive to light and glare, photochromic lenses can really help because they automatically darken in sunlight.

If you have a preference for contact lenses, multifocal contacts may also be used to treat presbyopia. These contact lenses have several rings or zones that are adjusted to the different powers your eyes need.  Should you not want to adjust your current contact lens prescription to accommodate your presbyopia, you can, while wearing your contacts, wear reading glasses. Reading glasses help by bending the refracting light before it enters your eye, enabling clear focus on objects that are close.

In some cases, people who are eligible may receive refractive surgery to correct vision problems such as presbyopia. Using a laser, an ophthalmologist reshapes the cornea to reduce the need for glasses and allowing you to see near and far! 

From getting the right prescription to finding the most SPEC-tacular frames, at IRIS, our team of professionals is the resource you need for all of your vision care! Book your exam today!

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