As you enter your 40s, you may experience a decline in your short-range vision. This is due to a common age-related refractive error called presbyopia.
Read on as your trusted optometrist from Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care discusses what you need to know about this condition.
What Causes It
Your eyes’ lenses are naturally flexible, allowing them to bend rays of light directly toward your retina. They flatten when you’re looking at distant objects and curve when you’re viewing something nearby. Aging, however, may cause your lenses and the ciliary muscles that control them to become thicker and harder. This leads to image interpretation problems.
How It Affects Your Vision
Blurry eyesight, especially when looking at nearby objects, is the hallmark symptom of presbyopia. If you notice yourself holding food menus and other reading materials close to your face, this could be a sign of presbyopia. You may also experience headaches and eye strain when doing close-range tasks. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to visit your eye specialist as soon as possible for a comprehensive eye exam.
How Presbyopia Differs From Hyperopia
Hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia both cause close-range vision problems. However, the underlying cause behind the disorders is very different. Hyperopia typically develops in childhood and is caused by an irregularly shaped eyeball or overly rigid cornea, which causes light to fall behind the retina instead of directly on it. As discussed, presbyopia is an age-related refractive error that occurs when your natural lenses lose their flexibility.
How It’s Managed
Corrective eyewear such as eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct this vision problem. They may contain bi- or multifocal lenses that contain two or more lens powers in a single lens. This helps you see objects clearly even at varying distances. Progressives are also a good option, which are similar to bifocals except they don’t have a visible junction separating the lens powers. We may evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for laser eye surgery as well.
For more information about presbyopia, call us at (301) 859-4060 or complete our form. We serve Alexandria, VA, as well as Potomac and Rockville, MD.