Presbyopia causes and treatments

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Most of the people over forty years old will inevitably suffer presbyopia, even if they have never suffered from any vision problem during younger ages. The most common sign of presbyopia is burry vision when doing close-up work, such as reading, sewing or doing computer-related tasks. Some people may consider it a strange phenomenon that presbyopic people always need to hold books, magazines, newspapers and other reading materials at arm’s distance. Some presbyopic patients even experience headache, eye strain or fatigue after a long period of near work. As more and more people entering old ages, the number of presbyopic patients is increasing.

The reason for presbyopia differs from that of refractive errors

Some people may be confused by presbyopia and farsightedness, which have similar symptoms. However, presbyopia is different from farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. The latter three eye problems are related to irregular eyeball shapes and formally called visual refractive errors, whereas presbyopia is caused by the eye’s natural aging process. As people age, the lens in the eye will gradually thicken and lose flexibility due to protein changes inside it. Muscle fibers around the lens will also experience some changes. As a result, the flexibility loss in the eye results in a harder time focusing close up.

Eyeglass products for presbyopia correction

Today, people with mild or moderate presbyopia have a wide access to a variety of eyeglasses and contact lenses, all of which provide clear and comfortable vision correction while seeing near objects. Reading glasses are exclusively for close work. If you do not want a frequent switch between separate pairs of glasses, there are also other creative solutions. The lenses of bifocal eyeglasses have two different parts: the upper one for distance vision and the bottom one for close vision. Progressive additional lenses are similar, but they have multiple focal points with different powers and also remove visible lines on bifocal lenses.

Contact lens products for presbyopia correction

All those technologies can also be applied to contact lenses, both available in gas permeable and soft forms. The exact products include single-vision contact lenses, bifocal contacts and progressive contact lenses. Monovision is another common technology that can go together with contact lenses. With monovision, people wear a lens with distance prescription in one eye and another lens with close prescription in the other eye.

Surgical treatments using various technologies

A variety of surgical treatments are also available now. NearVision CK treatment uses radio waves to create more curvature on the cornea, so as to improve near vision. Moreover, the monovision technology can also be applied during a LASIK surgery. In detail, monovision LASIK for presbyopia treatment corrects one eye for near vision and leave the other eye with normal distance vision untreated, in order to get a monovision vision effect. The implantation of presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses during a cataract surgery can more advantageously provide clear vision at all distances.

Other experimental solutions to presbyopia

In addition to the above solutions, researchers are still trying to work out new ways to compromise or cure presbyopia, saving millions of sufferers out of the poor vision trap. For example, the injection of elastic gel into the capsule bag and laser treatments that aim at increasing the lens’ flexibility are under trials. Another experimental surgery named PresbyLASIK uses an excimer laser to create different power zones on the cornea for seeing at multiple distances.