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Presbyopia and Getting Older

Visit your Knoxville, TN Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options

Many adults at some point experience presbyopia or a diminished ability to focus on things at a close range, as they age. As people worldwide are living longer a significant number of individuals are developing presbyopia, which currently cannot be escaped.

Many believe that presbyopia is caused because the human eye will begin to lose flexibility by age forty, making it more difficult for the eyes to focus on an object, particularly something nearby. Those with presbyopia often cope with near visual impairment by holding the paper far away or standing away from the object they want to focus on. Transitions from focusing on far off objects to closer ones can often be tiring for people with presbyopia. The stress can add further discomfort by causing headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

The most popular corrections for presbyopia are bifocals or progressives (PALs). A bifocal lens is divided into two points of focus, the upper portion is for viewing objects at a distance and the other part of the lens is for looking at objects nearby. PALs are similar to bifocal lenses, but the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual. Users can more easily change visual focus, as they would with uninhibited vision. An alternative would be reading glasses which, unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn continually, are used only when needed.

If contact lenses are preferred over glasses, there are other alternatives such as multifocal contacts. It may take some time to come up with the best use of contacts since different prescriptions can cause discomfort or blurriness.

There are also surgical options available that you may want to discuss with your optometrist. A significant number of patients are most successful combining options for presbyopia. Furthermore, because presbyopia will likely get worse as you get older, it is likely that you will be required to keep adapting the strength of your correction. With the population growing older, there is quite a bit of experimental treatment on the market currently to discover additional and perhaps more permanent solutions for the growing number of people dealing with presbyopia.

Seeing symptoms of presbyopia? Schedule a check up with your Knoxville, TN optometrist. A return to normal vision is only a phone call away!