Presbyopia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Presbyopia is one of the most common eye diseases. It usually occurs around middle age and is characterized by reduced or blurred vision. Colloquially, presbyopia is the loss of near vision and can be corrected by using optical instruments such as glasses and lenses. It is estimated that a billion people across the world suffer from this eye disease.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

Presbyopia is typically associated with blurry vision, especially when reading, working on computers, etc. People suffering from it usually have to hold reading objects at a distance to read them properly. If you find yourself reading a book by keeping it at an arm’s length, you know that you should see an ophthalmologist for presbyopia treatment.

Causes of Presbyopia

Presbyopia is largely age related. Unlike nearsightedness or farsightedness, which are affected by genetic factors, presbyopia is caused by the gradual loss of flexibility of the eye lens. With age, the muscles controlling the eyes tighten up, losing their elasticity. This means that the eye lens has to try harder to focus on close objects. Also, the proteins that make up the eye lens harden up with age, leading to loss of flexibility. All this contributes to presbyopia.

Treatments and Cures of Presbyopia

The most common and highly effective cure for presbyopia is the use of corrective optical instruments such as glasses and lenses. For patients suffering from presbyopia alone, reading glasses are an apt solution. These reading glasses can be purchased over the counter easily.

Those suffering from nearsightedness as well as presbyopia, farsightedness, etc. can opt for bifocals or progressive addition lenses (PALs). Bi-focals are essentially glasses that have corrective lenses for both near and far vision. Progressive Addition Lenses are the same as bi-focals in function, but offer a more gradual transition between the near and far vision lenses. There is also no vision transition between the two on the surface of the lens.

With age, the flexibility of your eye lens will further deterioate, so you will need to periodically increase the power of your contact lenses/glasses. Periodic visits to the eye doctor or optometrist are advised to make sure that you are using the appropriate corrective devices.

Another option for presbyopia patients is to opt for surgery. LASIK is one of the most common options and is highly effective. It is also quite affordable and is non-invasive as well.

Along with LASIK, there are several experimental treatments that haven’t quite achieved the same success rate as LASIK. One experimental treatment, for example, includes injecting an elastic gel like substance that will replace the natural eye lens. However, since most such treatments are in the experimental stages, it is recommended that you opt for LASIK if you do plan on getting surgery done for this eye disease.

Source by Benjamin M. Thomas

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