Often, around age 40, folks notice that they’re starting to have a difficult time reading. This is why: Because as you age, the lens of your eye becomes more rigid, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. This is called presbyopia.
Those with untreated presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm’s length in order to focus properly. Additionally, performing other close-range activities, such as crafts or writing, can also lead to eyestrain. For sufferers who want to deal with presbyopia, there are a few alternatives, regardless of whether you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses.
The thing with reading glasses is that they are generally most efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don’t already need glasses for issues with distance vision. These are readily available, but it’s advised not to purchase a pair until you have been examined by your eye care professional. Too often ”over-the-counter” reading glasses may be helpful for brief periods of time but they can cause eyestrain when people overwear them.
And if you already use glasses, but would rather just use one pair of glasses at a time, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). Essentially, these are eyeglasses that have more than one point of focus, and the lower part of the lens is where there is a prescription to help you focus on things right in front of you. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist about multifocal contact lenses. There’s also a treatment approach called monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.
Expect to periodically adjust the strength of your lenses, because your eyes and vision change as you get older, especially after middle age. Presbyopia still affects older individuals even after refractive surgery, so it is it’s worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.
Have to chat with your eye doctor for an unbiased opinion. Presbyopia is a part of middle age, but the choices you make regarding how to handle it is always up to you.