Presbyopia Explained: What it is and How to Treat
Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes' ability to focus on nearby objects. This is due to loss of elasticity of the lens in the eye that occurs over time. It's a normal, often annoying part of aging.
Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in your early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65. You may become aware of presbyopia when you start holding books and newspapers at arm's length to be able to read them.
Getting a routine eye check up and consultation from your local optometrist can help determine your level of presbyopia. Our Wang Vision doctors can prescribe you reading glasses, bifocal lenses, or progressive glasses. Other options are contact lens fittings for multifocal or monovision contact lenses.
Surgical options for presbyopia:
Because LASIK corrects the cornea, and not the lens, LASIK can only correct your eye for a fixed distance point or a fixed near point. It does not correct the presbyopia that is due to loss of the elasticity of your lens over time. However, monovision LASIK surgery can be a good option for patients with presbyopia.
Monovision is when your dominant eye is corrected for distance and your non-dominant eye is corrected for near. Monovision can take some time getting used to, or “brain adapting.”
We typically discuss trying monovision in a contact lens trial prior to having monovision LASIK surgery. The downside of monovision is that it can decrease depth perception.
The second option for correction of presbyopia is a refractive lens exchange, in which a multifocal lens is implanted in the eye in the place of the natural lens. Multifocal lenses can also be implanted in the eye during cataract surgery. In office screenings for this are necessary to find out if you are a good candidate.