As you approach your 40s, you may start to notice that you have some trouble with reading. Being able to see things that are up close is an age related function of your vision which gets weaker as you become older. But why is this so? As time passes, the lens of your eye grows more rigid, making it less able to focus on close objects. The clinical term for this is presbyopia. And, it's something that happens to us all.
Those with untreated presbyopia tend to hold printed text at arm's length to be able to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, like needlepoint or handwriting, could also cause eyestrain. When handling presbyopia, you have several solutions available, whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.
One of the most popular choices is reading glasses, though these are mostly efficient for those who wear contacts or for those who don't wear glasses for correcting distance vision. Although these are easy to find at pharmacies or drugstores, it's advised not to purchase a pair until you have spoken with your eye care professional. Lots of people don't know that reading glasses may be useful for brief periods of time but they can eventually result in eyestrain with extended use.
If you already wear glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. PALs and multi-focals are glasses that have separate points of focus; the bottom portion helps you see things at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment technique known as monovision, where each eye wears a different kind of lens; one addressing distance vision and one for close vision.
Expect to routinely check and possibly adjust your prescriptions, because eyes slowly change with age. Presbyopia is seen in people even after refractive surgery, so it is important to understand all the options before making decisions about your vision care.
Ask your eye care professional for an unbiased perspective. We can give you the tools to help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that's both beneficial and accessible.