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.
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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.
How Is Presbyopia Diagnosed?
Dr. Wang 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 Dr. Wang 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. Dr. Wang is happy to steer you toward your ideal form of treatment and evaluate whether you might be a candidate for specific corrective surgical procedures.
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 team of skilled 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.