Presbyopia is a gradual process that occurs in the lens of the eye that comes with age. Each year the protein layers in the lens of your eyes thickens by a miniscule amount. As you grow older this progressive thickening makes it harder for light to enter the eye clearly, while also stiffening the lens itself. As time goes on the micro-muscles inside the eye also experience age-related changes, which make it harder for them to adjust the lens effectively.
What Are The Symptoms Or Presbyopia?
Many people experiencing the early stages of presbyopia will notice problems with reading small print clearly. This might include things like text messages on your smartphone. As time goes on the ability to focus on close objects and small print worsens. It can also make it increasingly difficult to switch focus from far to near.
Even individuals who have never had a vision problem can be vulnerable to the gradual onset of presbyopia, as it directly related to the natural process of aging. It’s caused by a gradual thickening and stiffening of the lens of the eyes. Each year of life, the lens of the eye grows thicker, which means that most people notice the early signs of presbyopia in their 40s. As the lens thickens the micro-muscle fibers surrounding the eyes start to also experience changes which further decreases your eye’s ability to adjust focus.
Can It Cause Blindness Or Dizziness?
Just like other natural signs of aging like wrinkles, advanced presbyopia can be hard to hide. Left unaddressed presbyopia can have a serious negative impact on your quality of life. It can even make it difficult to drive or perform basic tasks.
Individuals with advanced or untreated presbyopia might also experience other symptoms that go beyond problems focusing and seeing things up close. As time goes on presbyopia sufferers may experience light sensitivity and glare problems with their vision.
In cases like this, photochromic lenses may be needed. This is a special type of eyeglasses lens that darkens automatically in response to sunlight.
Can Presbyopia Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, presbyopia is part of the natural aging process. The cells in the lens of your eye simply thicken with time. While genetics might play a factor in how quickly it develops, there is no way to truly prevent this very common condition.
Can Presbyopia Be Cured?
There are several ways to treat the symptoms of presbyopia. For many people with mild to moderate presbyopia these options can go a long way toward restoring quality of life.
A Magnifying Glass
This is a common first option for people experiencing the earliest stages of presbyopia. Keeping a magnifying glass with a light near a reading stand or in the kitchen can help you read fine print instructions or simply read a book without squinting.
Cheap Reading Glasses
Sometimes called “Cheaters” cheap reading glasses are usually found in discount stores and pharmacies for under $10. That way if you lose them or accidentally damage them, you aren’t going to regret it too much. Just keep in mind that they aren’t going to be perfectly dialed adapted to your vision.
Your optician can test the acuity of each eye and provide you with bifocals that have two different viewing surfaces. Looking down allows you to better see things up close. Progressive lenses are a type of bifocals without the telltale lines.
Are essentially an advanced version of prescription bifocals that help individuals who have problems focusing clearly far away as well as up close.
A lot of people with presbyopia will opt for contact lenses. Multi-focal lenses are essentially the version of the contact lenses that mimic bifocal eyeglasses. Some people will opt for monovision contact lenses where one eye is set for seeing at a distance, while the other is tuned to see things up close.
You most likely will need to list corrective lenses on your driver’s license and may need other forms of eyewear like prescription sunglasses, or prescription reading glasses. Athletes and individuals working in the manufacturing industry might also need prescription safety rated glasses, visors, or goggles.
Can Presbyopia Be Treated With Surgery?
There are a few presbyopia treatment options that could call for surgical intervention. Your physician can discuss your options with you to help determine if you are a good candidate, as well as the factors that go into the recovery process.
LASIK For Presbyopia
For some individuals, LASIK laser eye surgery can be used to treat the symptoms of presbyopia. This outpatient procedure essentially uses carefully controlled lasers to reshape the cornea of the eye. It allows you to better focus on the light entering the eye for clearer vision. Just like monovision contact lenses, some people will opt to have one eye tuned for seeing better at a distance and one for seeing better up close.
How Much Does LASIK Cost?
Depending on your insurance coverage, the average cost of LASIK laser eye surgery can range from $1,000 to $3,000. Your physician can help explain the treatment process to you in detail to maximize your long-term results.
The KAMRA Inlay Surgery
This procedure is an eye procedure involved installing an inlay disc on the cornea of one or both eyes. This allows for clearer vision, and some people will opt to have one eye tuned for seeing up close and another for seeing clearly at a distance.
How Much Does KAMRA Inlay Surgery Cost?
Just like LASIK, the cost to you can vary depending on your insurance coverage. KAMRA inlay surgery costs can range from $7,000 to $8,500. Your physician will help you understand the things you can do to maximize your results.
Presbyopia Treatment Improves Quality Of Life
Growing older gracefully is a challenge we all face. Some people will put off dealing with changes in their vision. Yet people who embrace treating their presbyopia with corrective lenses, contact lenses, or surgical intervention often reports a marked improvement in their overall quality of life.