If you are over 40 and have had good vision all your life , you may have noticed a recent change in your ability to focus when reading. This is called presbyopia. It is the gradual, age related decline in near focusing ability. People who are nearsighted (myopic) may notice that their vision becomes blurry when they wear their glasses (or contact lenses) when trying to read. People who are farsighted (hyperopia) will find their glasses (or contact lenses) are not strong enough to focus when reading.
The decline in accommodative ability (ability to change our focus) is due to the gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural crystalline lens in our eyes. The change in our reading vision is most noticeable in our 40s and 50s and tends to plateau after that.
Treatments for Presbyopia
Options to compensate for presbyopia include prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. For eyeglasses, high quality progressive lenses are an excellent option. They provide clear vision at all distances; at a reading range, intermediate range and in the distance. Traditional bifocals are also an option although they are not as popular nowadays as they show a visible line in the lens. Of course, your optometrist can prescribe single vision reading glasses that would only be used for near work. These would not allow you to properly focus at longer distances so they have to be taken off when not reading. For contact lenses, options include multifocal contact lenses, mono-vision contact lenses and single vision distance contact with reading glasses worn over top.
Dr. Louis Bahoshy and the optometrists at Stoney Creek Eye Care will work with you to come up with the best option that suits your work and lifestyle needs after performing a comprehensive eye exam and after having thorough discussion to explore all the options.