Presbyopia is a condition characterized by the inability to focus on objects that are close to you. It is a condition that increases in severity over the course of time as you age. Most people tend to develop the condition beyond the age of 40. People who have it often experience problems reading small print.

Presbyopia will affect most people and is virtually inescapable. Even those who have never had vision problems may acquire this condition at some point in their lives. Even people who already suffer from nearsightedness will end up with presbyopia, which manifests itself in the form of an increase in their already-existing condition. What’s worse, it cannot be corrected using their current eyeglasses or contact lenses.

By 2020, there will be approximately 2.11 billion people with presbyopia. Now, presbyopia may be a normal condition that appears with age, but it can still be very frustrating. Some people experience emotional upheavals as a result of the developing condition. It can severely impact an individual’s life and as it progresses, the quality of life of someone who has it may degrade.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

One of the first symptoms of presbyopia is eye strain when trying to read content at a certain distance. People who have it often have to hold reading material at arm’s length to make letters clearer. Holding books or phones at a normal distance results in blurred vision. In some rare cases, it may cause headaches as well.

The Causes Behind Presbyopia

Presbyopia is caused when there is a hardening of the lens, which prevents it from changing shape and adjusting to focus on objects that are close by. As a result, images tend to appear out of focus. Some of the risk factors for presbyopia are age (over 40), medical conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and multiple sclerosis), and the use of certain medications, such as diuretics, antidepressants, and antihistamines.

Treating Presbyopia

Treatment can range from using eyeglasses to refractive surgery. In the case of refractive surgery, the shape of the cornea is altered. This can help improve close-up vision. However, it does not negate the need for glasses.

Common surgical procedures include conductive keratoplasty, LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis), LASIK (Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy), and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

Conductive keratoplasty relies on radiofrequency energy to heat spots around the cornea, which causes the edge of the cornea to shrink. This increases the curve angle and boosts focus. However, the results aren’t long lasting.

LASIK involves surgically creating a thin flap deep in the cornea. The inner layers of the cornea are then removed using a laser to improve the dome shape. Recovery from LASIK is quick and relatively painless.

In LASIK, an ultra-thin flap in the epithelium (outer protective cover of the cornea) is created. Then the cornea’s outer layers are reshaped using a laser. The epithelium eventually grows back.

The procedure for PRK is very similar to LASIK, with the only exception being the complete removal of the epithelium rather than a partial elimination. The cornea is reshaped using a laser, just as it is done in a LASIK procedure.

Contact Our Office

If you’re suffering from blurry vision and eye strain when you’re focusing on nearby objects, it could be an indicator of presbyopia. With the help of the skilled ophthalmologists at Patel Eye Associates, you can find relief and finally say goodbye to this problem. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.