Eyes Over 40

Eyes Over 40

Female stretching out a book to readFor most of us age creeps up on us usually in our 40s.  One of the sure signs of this is the change in our eyes.  It seems all of a sudden we have a lack of ability to see close up - we have trouble reading the label on a pill bottle, or reading the menu in a dim restaurant.  This is normal, and it is known as presbyopia, which in Latin literally means aging eyes.

We can’t escape presbyopia.  Even those who are near sighted will start to realize that their ability to focus up close blurs when wearing their eyeglasses that correct vision for distance.

Presbyopia Symptoms and Signs

When presbyopia hits, you find that you need to hold things like newspapers, your smart phone, iPad, or restaurant menus further away than normal.  This is a sure sign, and usually you will go through a bit of denial until you finally realize it that you are there - you need glasses. 

What Causes Presbyopia? 

In a nutshell presbyopia is caused by age.  While you may be taking great strides to keep yourself young - by going to the gym, watching what you eat, and dying your hair - the lenses in your eyes start to get harder and less flexible.  It's a natural process, and this is what makes it harder to focus up close. 

Presbyopia Treatment: Eyewear

The easiest and most common way to overcome presbyopia is with bifocal or progressive lenses.  Bifocals have two distinct parts - the top of the lens is for distance and the lower portion is for reading and close work.  Bifocals have a distinct visible line that separates the two lens corrections.

Progressive lenses, while similar to bifocals by allowing you to see both near and far, make the transition between the two corrections gradual.  This gradual progression has two advantages: it allows you to have some correction for the area in between near and far, and most importantly for many, it eliminates that distinct visible line between the two corrections.

Another solution would be to wear single vision reading glasses.  This solution is mainly recommended if you do not need correction for distance, or if you wear contact lenses.  Reading glasses will need to be taken on and off as you switch your focus between near and far.  For example, they will be great for looking at a book, but when you want to look across the room everything will be blurry unless you take them off or peer over the top of them.

Keep in mind that the lens in your eye will continiue to harden as you age.  Therefore, your eyeglass prescription will change over time.