Presbyopia is a condition of the eye that results in loss of the ability to focus on near objects. Presbyopia generally starts in the late 30′s to mid-40′s and is generally first experienced as difficulty reading menus in dim light, trouble reading phone numbers in the phone book, or the small print on medicine bottles. People often say that they feel their arms are ‘getting too short’. Our tendency in the early stages of presbyopia is to hold things farther away. As presbyopia progresses many people turn to reading glasses, also referred to as "cheaters", or to monovision.
Presbyopia is caused by the gradual loss of flexibility of the lens inside the eye. When we’re young the lens inside of our eyes is very flexible, allowing us to focus at virtually any distance. As the lens becomes more rigid with age, our focal point gradually becomes more and more fixed, generally at a distance just beyond our fingertips. Everyone will experience presbyopia at some point, although the age at which is starts can vary from person to person.
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, call 505-323-0800 to schedule your consultation today.
How can be Presbyopia be treated?
There is no "cure" for presbyopia. However, there are many options for the treatment of presbyopia including reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, and progressive lenses. Many people find these options unsatisfactory and wish to pursue another choice.
Monovision describes a situation in which one eye is corrected for near focus while the other eye is corrected for distance vision. Some patients adjust to monovision very quickly, while others will take as long as 1-2 months to become comfortable with it. Dr. Bernitsky recommends that anyone considering monovision should try it with contact lenses prior to making the decision. If you find that it works well with contact lenses, it will be even better when done on a permanent basis at the time of your LASIK surgery.
Another option for the treatment of presbyopia is the replacement of your natural lens with one of the newer ‘presbyopia correcting’ intraocular lenses. These lenses incorporate different advanced designs that improve focus both up close and at distance. There are currently three presbyopia correcting lenses available in the US including the ReSTOR, ReZoom, and Crystalens IOL’s.