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Presbyopia is a condition marked by the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to focus on close objects. It develops as you age, generally becoming apparent in your early to mid 40s. The condition may continue to worsen until you reach the age of 60.
Patel Eye Associates in Edison, New Jersey can help treat your presbyopia. Our experienced ophthalmologists offer the most advanced techniques and technology for restoring your vision and your quality of life.
Presbyopia Symptoms and Causes
As you develop presbyopia, you may experience blurred near vision when reading, sewing or working at the computer. You may also notice more eyestrain or headaches. It is common to begin holding books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at closer to your eyes in order to focus properly. Even if you are nearsighted, you will notice your near vision blurs when wearing your usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.
You can't escape presbyopia, even if you have had no previous vision problems. It is an age-related process believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye. The changes actually 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, your eyes have difficulty focusing up close.
Presbyopia is commonly treated with corrective lenses, commonly referred to as reading glasses. If you previously wore corrective lenses for nearsightedness, you may need bifocals in order to correct your presbyopia as well. These multi-focal lenses allow you to transition smoothly from distance to near vision without having to change to a different pair of glasses.
For those unconcerned with the convenience of multi-focal lenses, reading glasses may be your best choice for close work, especially if you normally wear contact lenses.
You can also choose from a variety of contact lens options, such as multi-focal or mono-vision lenses, to treat the condition. When you visit with Edison ophthalmologists, Dr. Hitesh K. Patel and Dr. Himanshu S. Shah for your comprehensive eye examination, they will happily discuss all your options to help you choose the one that is best for you.
There are also a variety of surgical treatments for presbyopia, including:
- Conductive keratoplasty (CK), which uses radio waves to reshape the corneal curvature, improving near vision. CK is performed on a single eye.
- Excimer laser surgeries such as PresbyLASIK and LASIK monovsion
- Cataract surgery: While you may not have cataracts, the procedure for refractive lens exchange is identical to the surgical procedure for removing cataracts.
Many presbyopia patients do best with reading glasses and multifocal contact lenses, at least in the early stages of the condition. Remember that your near vision will continue to change over the years as your presbyopia worsens. Surgery at a younger age may require another surgery at a later age when your vision changes.