There are a few certainties in life.
The other one is Presbyopia.
Everyone over 40 begins to lose their ability to adjust the focusing of their eyes.
This process that slows down your focus adjustment actually starts in your teens, begins to manifest in your 40's and levels off, or plateaus in your 60's - a time in which you lose most all of your focus adjustment.
This is similar to having accommodative dysfunction/accommodative insufficiency as a child but the problem is permanent and cannot be cured through vision training.
PRESBYOPIA IN FARSIGHTED PEOPLE
If you have lived through the first half of your life being able to see clearly at all distances, there's a good chance you just have a very mild level of farsightedness. This if very common.
Sometimes if you have a higher amount of farsightedness, you will still need glasses or contacts to help you see.
Whichever camp you fall into, presbyopia will affect you in the same way.
Starting around age 40, you will start to notice it is harder to see clearly at arm's length. In order to counteract this, you might find yourself backing away or stretching your arms farther out to see reading material.
When this begins, many people joke that their "arms are too short now".
So for the people who use reading glasses, you might find you start with a +1.00 pair of readers, then a few years later you bump it up to +1.50 then eventually your need a +3.00 lens to read text.
Click here if you'd like a detailed description of how to interpret your glasses prescription numbers.
This is of course, a generalized statement and does not apply to everyone.
PRESBYOPIA IN NEARSIGHTED PEOPLE
If you are nearsighted (Myopic) and reach the age of 40-45, then you may start noticing you see better to read without glasses. This may work well, depending on your prescription, but you may also need all in one glasses, like bifocals or progressives to see far and near. Bifocals and Progressives have two prescriptions strengths in one lens which should allow you to keep your glasses on for everything you need to do during the day and see clearly.
WHAT CAUSES PRESBYOPIA?
The two main causes of presbyopia are
loss of flexibility of the lens of the eye
weaker ciliary muscles that normally cause the lens to change shape
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR PRESBYOPIA?
If our Optometrist finds that you have Presbyopia (if you are over 40 you will have some degree of it), we will take proper measurements to determine what will help you see best for what you need.
Presbyopia is treated with lenses and the idea is not to cure or correct the condition itself, but to help bring objects into focus. For this reason, it is best to think of your eyeglasses prescription as a pair of "compensatory lenses", not "corrective lenses".
At Charron Eye Center in Bellingham, we have many options to help people see well with presbyopia.
We always try to take you individual lifestyle factors into play when helping you decide which lens styles and materials to select.
Some of the options that you might have (or that we might discuss with you) during your eye exam are below:
Prescription Reading Glasses
Over the Counter 'Readers' (aka "cheaters")
Bifocal (Multifocal) Contacts
Contact prescribed for distance with reading glasses for near viewing
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