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Aging Eyes (Presbyopia) in Nashville, TN

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What Is Presbyopia?

Typically, when people reach about 40 years old, their near vision, unfortunately, starts to get worse. This age-related vision impairment is called presbyopia, and it reduces the ability to see objects that are up close. It is a very natural and extremely common part of getting older. It begins because as we pass 40, the lenses in our eyes just begin to become less flexible. Nearly everyone, even those who have enjoyed perfect eyesight throughout life, often start to discover that they need to situate food packaging, books, or other objects at arm's distance to see them clearly. Some may also start to get headaches or eye fatigue from activities that never gave them issues before. At his practice in Nashville, TN, Dr. Ming Wang and his experienced team of doctors can provide a range of options to improve your vision if you have noticed age-associated vision problems. If you believe you may be experiencing presbyopia, come in for a comprehensive eye exam at Wang Vision Institute so we can help you regain clearer, crisper vision.

What Are The Symptoms Of Presbyopia?

People who have begun to be presbyopic will typically first realize that they can't see objects that are close up as well as they used to. A well-known indication of presbyopia is noticing you have to hold things farther and farther away in order to read them. Another indication is suffering from headaches or aching eyes after some types of tasks, such as writing or using a computer, that don't typically didn't cause issues in the past. Also rather common is the mistaken assumption that the blurred vision is because of inadequate lighting. Presbyopia generally starts to develop near the age of 40 and if left untreated, its symptoms can become more pronounced the older you get.

What Causes Presbyopia?

While most refractive vision conditions are caused by abnormal eye shape, age-related vision impairment is not. The proteins that are part of the lens of the eye change with age, notably after a man or woman reaches 40 years of age, leading the lens to thicken and lose elasticity. Age also changes the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. These fibers gradually grow weaker and less flexible. Therefore, it is harder for the lens to make itself rounder or flatter, which is necessary to be able to focus. All of these changes to the proteins and muscle fibers of the lens intensify naturally with age, meaning the loss of near vision slowly becomes more advanced the older we get.

What are the risk factors for presbyopia?

Age is unquestionably the primary risk factor for presbyopia, with changes in the flexibility of the eye lens typically occuring around age 40. Secondary risk factors that may exacerbate age-related eye changes can include smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other underlying conditions and/or lifestyle factors. While age-related presbyopia is typically unavoidable, patients can preserve their overall eye health as best as possible with regular eye exams and healthy habits.

How Is Presbyopia Diagnosed?

Our eye doctors will need to perform a comprehensive eye exam to properly diagnose presbyopia. He may also perform a series of eyesight tests to learn the degree of presbyopia and determine the degree of correction you need. Because presbyopia is a vision impairment that stems from the lens of the eye, we might have to use special eye drops to dilate your pupils. The dilation will allow our eye doctors to fully examine the inner parts of your eyes and observe how well your lenses are functioning. By performing these tests, he will be able to establish the best treatment options for your particular degree of presbyopia.

How Is Presbyopia Treated?

Typically, age-related vision impairment is treated using corrective eyeglasses with certain types of lenses. Among these particular lenses, bifocal and progressive lenses are the most frequently chosen. Progressive lenses are basically multifocal lenses; however, they look like standard lenses because they don't have obvious lines. Progressive lenses can allow you to see at multiple distances. Bifocal lenses most often have a visible line toward the bottom half that begins the part of the lens used for near vision. Both of these lenses can also be good options if you have one or more other refractive errors in addition to presbyopia. Many people with presbyopia like to only use reading glasses (often called readers) and take them off when they aren't needed for up-close activities.

Multifocal contacts can also be prescribed to restore clear vision, and monovision contact lenses are a terrific choice for people who have both presbyopia and myopia. Additionally, there are a few surgical options that can possibly be useful in helping to correct the effects of presbyopia. Our team is happy to steer you toward your ideal form of treatment and evaluate whether you might be a candidate for specific corrective surgical procedures.

Aging Eyes FAQs

Can I get drugstore glasses for presbyopia?

Over-the-counter reading glasses are available in drugstores and other establishments. However, these lenses have limitations because they only come with certain strengths. Over-the-counter reading glasses are helpful for some patients, our goal is to evaluate the options that would work best for each individual.

How long does it take for presbyopia to get worse?

Presbyopia generally progresses slowly over time, but the rate of deterioration varies. However, some medical conditions can accelerate the progression of presbyopia. Patients should schedule annual eye exams in Nashville, TN, to evaluate their eye health and check for any changes in vision. We'll use this opportunity to make sure you have the best corrective lenses.

Why choose Wang Vision Institute for presbyopia treatment?

At Wang Vision Institute takes a personalized approach to patient care. We combine the latest technology with decades of experience to provide patients with high-quality eye care and excellent vision correction results. Our team is highly knowledgeable in all aspects of ophthalmology and can address any eye health concerns you have. Plus, Wang Vision Institute is dedicated to providing exceptional care.

How can I tell if my blurred vision is due to presbyopia or another cause?

Blurry vision when trying to see close objects, especially if you're aged 40 or above, frequently points to presbyopia. Undergoing a thorough eye examination is the most reliable method to determine whether you're experiencing presbyopia or if your symptoms are related to other conditions such as astigmatism or cataracts.

Is it possible to prevent or slow down the onset of presbyopia?

Although presbyopia is an inevitable part of the aging process and cannot be entirely prevented, adopting certain lifestyle habits might slow its progression. Ensuring a diet rich in vital nutrients that support eye health, steering clear of smoking, and safeguarding your eyes from too much UV light exposure are steps that could promote overall eye health and potentially delay the effects of presbyopia.

What are the options for managing presbyopia if I already wear prescription glasses for distance vision?

For individuals who already rely on prescription glasses for seeing at a distance, bifocal or progressive lenses can be an excellent solution for managing presbyopia. Bifocal lenses have a distinct demarcation between the two prescription areas, one for distance at the top and another for reading at the bottom. Progressive lenses offer a more seamless transition between different prescription strengths, providing a range of focal points from distance to near without visible lines on the lenses.

Fight Age-Related Vision Loss

A decline in near vision, particularly in people past 40 years old, is almost always simple presbyopia. Presbyopia is a totally normal, age-related refractive error. It is very common and easily manageable with the right lenses. At Wang Vision Institute, Dr. Ming Wang and his skilled team of ophthalmologists and optometrists can help you ditch the challenges of poor near vision. Contact us today at our Nashville, TN office to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.

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