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Presbyopia

The term presbyopia means “old eyes,” and it is expected in individuals of a certain age. Presbyopia typically becomes apparent when you start having to hold objects or reading materials further away from your eyes in order to see them clearly. Those who already have prescription glasses or contacts often need bifocals or trifocals as presbyopia progresses. However, newer procedures such as Progressive Multi-focal LASIK laser eye surgery can correct vision problems caused by presbyopia without the need for corrective eyewear.

Causes of Presbyopia

Presbyopia is caused when the eye’s crystalline lens loses its elasticity. The crystalline lens permits the eyes to clearly focus on objects within a close range, its flexibility allowing it to change shape and provide clear focus when adjusting between far and near distances; however, as we age, the lens loses the ability to thicken or flatten. It becomes increasingly difficult for the eyes to adjust focus between near objects and objects at a distance, with near objects taking on a blurry appearance.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

The symptoms of presbyopia are often not apparent until years after the condition has begun to set in. Usually occurring after the age of 40, individuals with presbyopia typically experience blurry vision when trying to focus on objects at a distance and while reading print up-close. Working on a computer and reading also become more difficult as presbyopia can cause the eyes to become tired and headaches to set in.

Diagnosing Presbyopia

A simple eye exam can diagnose presbyopia. Since the condition causes difficulty focusing on close objects, near vision can be tested by measuring the eye’s power of accommodation. The clarity of your near vision will be evaluated by looking at increasing and decreasing-size print through a variety of lenses. The print will be moved closer and then further away from your eyes. The results should give a clear indication as to whether or not you are presbyopic.

Treatment Options for Presbyopia

The best thing about presbyopia is that in most cases it is easily treatable. Some of the most effective surgical treatment options for presbyopia include:

Progressive Multi-Focal LASIK

Progressive Multi-focal LASIK procedures are innovative new laser treatments designed to treat presbyopia combined with other common conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. This option can improve your vision and reduce the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Learn more about Progressive Multi-focal LASIK.

Implantable Lenses / Intraocular lenses

Implantable lenses, also known as intraocular lenses (IOLs), are effective alternatives to treat presbyopia for those who are not candidates for laser surgery. IOLs replace the eye’s natural lens, positioned either directly behind the iris or between the cornea and the iris, giving you the benefit of a contact lens but not the hassle of daily placement and removal.

Learn more about intraocular lenses (IOLs).

Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)

This presbyopia treatment option uses radio waves to shrink collagen tissue along the outer cornea, improving the way light enters the eye and helping you focus more clearly on objects at a close distance. This procedure can reduce your dependence on reading glasses and serves as an effective treatment for presbyopia.

Learn more about Conductive Keratoplasty (CK).

Doctors at our vision care facility in San Diego have successfully treated many cases of presbyopia and helped patients improve their vision and enjoy a better quality of life. Contact the Gordon & Weiss Vision Institute to schedule an appointment.

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