You can’t escape presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. The effects of presbyopia occur sometime after age 40, when you’ll start having difficulty seeing small print clearly.
Even though presbyopia is a normal change in our eyes as we age, it often is a significant and emotional event because it’s a sign of aging that’s impossible to ignore and difficult to hide.
When you become presbyopic, you either have to hold your smartphone, tablet and other objects farther from your eyes to see them more clearly. Unfortunately, when you move things farther from your eyes they get smaller in size, so this is only a temporary solution to presbyopia.
Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process. This differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors. Presbyopia is caused by a thickening and/or loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye.
These age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, the eye has a harder time focusing up close. Other, less popular theories exist as well.
Presbyopia Treatment Options Include:
Eyeglasses such as bifocals or progressive lenses are the most popular solution for presbyopia for most people over age 40. These multifocal lenses restore clear near vision and provide excellent vision at all distances, regardless of what refractive errors you may have in addition to presbyopia.
Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike bifocals and progressive lenses, which most people wear all day, reading glasses are worn only when needed to see close objects and small print more clearly. You may purchase readers over-the-counter at a retail store, or you can get higher-quality versions prescribed by your eye doctor.
Contact Lenses or multifocal contact lenses, available in gas permeable or soft lens materials. Another type of contact lens correction for presbyopia is monovision, in which one eye wears a distance prescription, and the other wears a prescription for near vision. The brain learns to favor one eye or the other for different tasks. But while some people are delighted with this solution, others complain of reduced visual acuity and some loss of depth perception with monovision.
Because the human lens continues to change as you grow older, your presbyopic prescription will need to be increased over time as well.
Surgical Alternatives : If you’re looking for an alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct presbyopia, our surgeon Frank A. Bucci, Jr. MD offers a surgical option. Multi Lx Elite or a refractive lens exchange. This is an intraocular lens exchange/replacement virtually the same as cataract surgery, but the natural lens that is being replaced has not yet become clouded by a cataract yet. Based on your consultation exam Dr. Bucci will recommend a multifocal IOL ( intraocular lens implant) or an accommodating IOL to restore near vision. These lenses, when implanted not only correct your vision but also stop the natural aging process, therefore you will never develop a cataract or need a stronger prescription. This is considered an elective procedure and therefore isn’t covered by insurance. However the same technology is also available to patients diagnosed with cataracts, which in most cases insurances will cover the surgical portion of their procedure requiring the premium enhanced lenses to be paid for out of pocket. Call 1-877-DR-BUCCI to schedule your consultation with Dr. Bucci at one of our six locations throughout Northeastern PA..