As an individual nears the age of 40, their near eyesight typically begins to blur. This change in vision is called presbyopia, and it reduces the ability to see objects that are too close. Presbyopia is a perfectly natural, extremely routine part of the aging process. It develops because as we age, certain parts of our eyes just begin to become hardened. Almost everyone, even individuals who have had 20/20 vision their whole lives, might start to discover that they need to situate books or other objects at arm’s distance to see them. Some may also suffer from migraines or eye strain from tasks that never bothered them before. At his practice in Bloomington, MN, world-renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu offers some great options to enhance your eyesight if you have age-associated vision problems. If you believe you might be experiencing presbyopia, stop by for a visit at Chu Vision Institute so we can get you back to your best vision.
SYMPTOMS OF PRESBYOPIA
Men and women who have begun to be presbyopic will often first notice that they can no longer see items that are close up as well as they once did. One obvious indication of presbyopia is discovering you have to position objects away from the eyes in order to read them. A further sign is getting headaches or eye fatigue after near-vision-intensive activities, such as writing or using a computer, that never used to cause them. Also rather common is the mistaken belief that the unclear vision is caused by dim lighting. Presbyopia usually begins to show up at around the age of 40, and its symptoms can get more pronounced.
WHAT CAUSES VISION LOSS?
While almost all refractive visual impairments are the result of shortened or lengthened eye shape, age-related vision impairment is not. The proteins that are part of the lens of the eye are affected by age, primarily after a man or woman turns 40 years old, causing the lens to thicken and lose elasticity. Age also takes a toll on the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. They slowly grow weaker and less pliable. Therefore, it is harder for the lens to change shape, which is necessary in order to focus. Each of these changes to the lens continues naturally with age. Therefore, presbyopia slowly becomes more noticeable over time.
DIAGNOSIS OF PRESBYOPIA
We will have to perform a comprehensive eye exam to effectively diagnose presbyopia. Dr. Chu may also do a few vision tests to establish the degree of the condition and figure out the degree of correction you need. Since presbyopia is a vision impairment that is related to the lens of the eye, we might have to use special eye drops to dilate your pupils. This will enable our team to closely examine the inner parts of your eyes and look at how well they are functioning. Through these tests, he can tell you the best course of action for your particular case.
HOW IS AGE-RELATED VISION LOSS TREATED?
Usually, people control their presbyopia with prescription eyeglasses with specially made lenses. Out of these particular lenses, bifocal and progressive lenses are the types most people choose. Progressive lenses do the same job as multifocal lenses; however, they look just like ordinary lenses, as they don’t have any lines. They can provide corrected vision at many distances. Bifocal lenses usually have a line near the bottom that starts the part of the lens used for near vision. Both of these options can also be effective choices if you have other refractive vision impairments in addition to presbyopia. Some people with presbyopia like to only use reading glasses (commonly known as “cheaters”) and remove them when they aren’t doing up-close activities. There are also some surgical options that may possibly be effective in helping to correct the impact of presbyopia. Dr. Chu will be able to help you select the most effective form of vision correction for your needs and determine whether you could be eligible for certain surgical treatments.
FIGHT AGE-RELATED VISION LOSS
The worsening of near vision, especially in patients over the age of 40, is almost always a case of presbyopia. Presbyopia is a commonly occurring, age-related condition that’s fully manageable with Clear Lens Exchange or the right glasses or contacts. At Chu Vision Institute, our highly skilled team of eye care professionals can help you do away with the problems that come with reduced close-up vision. Get in touch with us today at our Bloomington, MN office for your comprehensive eye exam.