What Causes Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process. This differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors. Presbyopia generally is believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye. These age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, the eye has a harder time focusing up close. Other, less popular theories exist as well.

Presbyopia Treatment: Eyeglasses (spectacles)

Eyeglasses with progressive lenses are the most popular solution for presbyopia for most people over age 40. These line-free multifocal lenses restore clear near vision and provide excellent vision at all distances, regardless of what refractive errors you may have in addition to presbyopia.

Another option is eyeglasses with bifocal lenses. But bifocals are much less popular these days because they provide a more limited range of vision for many presbyopes. Also, most people don’t want to show their age by wearing eyeglasses that have a visible bifocal line.

Also, it’s common for people with presbyopia to notice they are becoming more sensitive to light and glare due to aging changes in their eyes. Photochromic lenses, which darken automatically in sunlight, are a good choice for this reason. They are available in all lens designs, including progressive lenses and bifocals.

Presbyopia Treatment: Reading glasses:

Unlike bifocals and progressive lenses, which most people wear all day, reading glasses are worn only when needed to see close objects and small print more clearly. If you wear contact lenses, your eye doctor can prescribe reading glasses that you wear while your contacts are in. You may purchase readers over-the-counter at a retail store, or you can get higher-quality versions prescribed by your eye doctor.

Regardless which type of eyeglasses you choose to correct presbyopia, definitely consider lenses that include anti-reflective coating. AR coating eliminates reflections that can be distracting and cause eye strain. It also helps reduce glare and increase visual clarity for night driving.

Presbyopia Treatment: Contact Lenses

Presbyopes also can opt for multifocal contact lenses, available in gas permeable or soft lens materials. Another type of contact lens correction for presbyopia is monovision, in which one eye wears a distance prescription, and the other wears a prescription for near vision. The brain learns to favor one eye or the other for different tasks. But while some people are delighted with this solution, others complain of reduced visual acuity and some loss of depth perception with monovision.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:

McKenna & Scott Pinelands

Tel: 021 531 1953

pinelands@mckennascott.com