Here at Fusion Eye Care, we see patients with presbyopia on a regular basis. If you think you might be developing presbyopia, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Bassiri as soon as possible by calling (919) 977-7480.
What Is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a normal loss of ability to focus on near things that happens as people age. Most folks start noticing the effects of this condition following their 40th birthday, when they might start having problems reading small print with clarity, such as text messages on smartphones.
Presbyopia isn’t something that you can avoid, even if you’ve lived a life free of vision problems previously. Even nearsighted individuals are going to notice blurred vision with their normal contact lenses or eyeglasses used for correcting distance vision.
Presbyopia is currently on the rise within the United States, largely due to an aging population. Per data from the U.S. Census Bureau, over a hundred million Americans were presbyopic in 2006, with an additional 10 million expected by 2020.
Around the globe, a 2011 estimate clocked nearly a billion and a half people with presbyopia; a number also expected to go over 2 billion in the following decade.
Even though presbyopia is itself a normal age-related change to your eyes, it’s also a substantial and even emotional event given that you can’t possibly ignore it and hard to hide from others.
Signs And Symptoms Of Presbyopia
When you turn presbyopic, you can hold reading materials, be it menus, labels, magazines, and books, or your smartphone farther away from your face to see things with clarity. However, as you move something away from your face, the print gets smaller in its size, so this supposed solution to presbyopia is only temporary and just partially successful.
On top of this, even if you are still able to see things up close pretty well, the condition might create headaches, visual fatigue, eye strain, and other complications that complicate reading and near vision tasks to the point of exhausting you or being uncomfortable.
What Is The Cause Of Presbyopia?
It’s a process related to natural aging. That makes it different from conditions like farsightedness, astigmatism, and nearsightedness, where the eyeball shape combines with environmental and genetic factors to create conditions. Presbyopia is typically believed to come from the loss of flexibility and accumulated thickening of the eye’s natural lens.
Such age-related concerns happen in the protein of both lenses, which makes each lens harder and as such less elastic as time goes by. Age-related changes also happen in many muscle fibers that surround each lens. As elasticity is reduced, eyes have harder times focusing on things up close. There are other theories, but they are less respected or popular.
Eyeglasses As Presbyopic Treatment:
Eyeglasses that have progressive lenses are often the most popular choice for presbyopia in people past the age of 40. Such line-free multifocal lenses usually restore clarity to near vision and also give great vision at many distances, irrespective of any refractive errors a person might have on top of their presbyopia.
One other option is bifocal lenses in the eyeglasses. However, these are far less popular in contemporary times since they have a far-more limited range of vision. Also, a lot of folks don’t like showing off their age from wearing eyeglasses that feature visible bifocal lines.
It’s also common for presbyopic individuals to discover they have increased sensitivity to glare and light as their eyes age. Photochromic lenses, which darken in sunlight immediately, are great choices for such reasons. These can be had in all sorts of lens designs, from bifocals to progressive lenses.
Reading glasses are yet another option. Unlike progressive lenses and bifocals, which most wearers keep on all day, reading glasses only get put on when someone needs to see small print and close objects with more clarity.
If you already wear contact lenses, then your eye doctor might prescribe reading glasses that you could wear when you have your contacts in. You might purchase over-the-counter readers in a retail store, or you might also get higher-caliber prescription versions through your eye doctor.
Whatever kind of eyeglasses you choose for the correction of your presbyopia, you should certainly consider lens which have an anti-reflective coating. AR coating can eliminate reflections that might prove distracting or cause eye strain. You can also increase visual clarity and reduce glare for activities like night driving.
Contact Lenses As A Presbyopic Treatment:
Presbyopes might choose multifocal contact lens, which are available in both soft lens and gas-permeable materials. Another kind of contact lens used as presbyopia correction is monovision, where one single eye wears the distance prescription, but the other wears the prescription for near vision. Over time, the human brain starts favoring one eye over the other for specific tasks they are better-suited to. However, while some users love this solution, a number of others actually say that their visual acuity is reduced and they even lose some of their depth perception.
Since the human lens is something that keeps changing as the person ages, any presbyopic prescription you get has to be increased over time too. You should expect your individual eye care practitioner to prescribe stronger corrections for your near vision to work as needed.
Surgery As Presbyopic Treatment:
If you don’t want to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses for your presbyopia, then a handful of surgical possibilities might just be the answer.
Corneal inlay implantation is one of the presbyopia correction procedures which is gaining in popularity. This is typically implanted into the cornea of your non-dominant eye, and the corneal inlay increases the depth of your treated eye’s focus, reducing the need for things like reading glasses without substantially impacting your distance vision quality.
Two corneal inlays approved by the FDA for American presbyopia correction surgery include the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay from ReVision Optics and the Kamra inlay from AcuFocus.
Other options for presbyopia surgical correction include the following:
- NearVision CK: Refractec markets this particular conductive keratoplasty procedure, and it uses radio frequency waves to change the actual cornea shape in a single eye in order to enhance near vision.
- Monovision LASIK: This is a modified LASIK procedure establishes an identical effect to monovision from contact lenses, without actually there being a need to wear some contacts.
- PresbyLASIK: This is a multifocal LASIK procedure that’s similar to wearing a pair of multifocal contact lenses. It’s been performed for a number of years on the European continent, but it has yet to see FDA approval within the United States.
- Refractive lens exchange: This is also known as RLE, and it’s nearly identical to cataract surgery although the natural lens that gets replaced hasn’t become cataract clouded. A surgeon might restore near vision using an accommodating IOL or a multifocal IOL.
The initial step is seeing if you’re a good candidate for something like presbyopia surgery, and that starts with a consultation and comprehensive eye exam with a good refractive surgeon that specializes in things like the surgical correction techniques for presbyopia.
How Fusion Eye Care Can Help
If you have any additional questions about presbyopia, Fusion Eye Care is here to help. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Bassiri as soon as possible by calling (919) 977-7480.