Presbyopia, what is it?

As we age, we all experience annoying changes in our vision:

  • it becomes more difficult to concentrate
  • it is more and more difficult to see clearly on close objects . 

This is known as presbyopia , and this natural dysfunction is usually seen after age 40. Most people start wearing reading glasses to deal with presbyopia , but not everyone will be affected to the same extent, some as young as 40 some as late as 50!

man reading with reading glasses

Why is the reading blurry?

Presbyopia is the result of various natural age-related changes, especially in the crystalline lens (lens located inside the eye). This is responsible for focusing the light entering the eye. The lens is normally soft and flexible, allowing it to easily change shape and focus from a distant object to a near object and back again. But as the lens ages, it loses its natural elasticity and the autofocus action becomes complex. Therefore , the ability to see objects up close , at 35-40 cm, is lost .

Good to know: distance vision is generally not affected and both eyes become presbyopic, but not always in the same way.

Presbyopia progresses with age : first of all, you will take your newspaper or mobile phone away to read, then your near vision will become blurred. As your near vision deteriorates, you will need reading glasses to help you read or perform other meticulous tasks (sewing, crafts, drawing, cooking).

We all become presbyopic, even if we already have an existing visual problem such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.

What are the signs of presbyopia?

  • Hazy or even blurry vision
  • Difficulty reading small print
  • Difficulty concentrating on nearby objects, detailed work
  • Need to move objects away to see them properly
  • Difficulty reading in dark places
  • Blurred vision headaches (after reading)
  • Visual fatigue, itchy eyes

How to correct presbyopia?

There are several ways to correct presbyopia. For the majority of us, reading glasses are the best, fastest and easiest solution. For greater comfort, the choice of reading glasses with depth of field (with decreasing lenses) will be optimal since they offer clear vision from 35 cm to one meter. It is the ideal solution for screen work, DIY and all our daily activities. For some, the choice will be progressive glasses to wear all day or for others, their choice will be laser surgery .

In any case, if you have difficulty in near vision, presbyopia may affect you. So see your optician or ophthalmologist for a check of your visual acuity and your eyes.