You might have experienced it yourself, your arms are not long enough and you can’t read a book or text on your tablet as easily as before. Starting at about the age of 40, your eyesight starts changing. It is called presbyopia. This is what happens.
Your ability to focus clearly on close objects progressively worsens. You may have difficulty reading fine print without holding your reading material farther away from you. You might experience headaches and eyestrain more often than before. The change comes with age and there is not much you can do to stop it. But you can get your eyes checked by an optician and get glasses to improve the situation.
The name of the problem is α-crystalline. It is a protein which assists in maintaining the correct refraction index in the eye. As we grow older the levels of the protein decrease. This causes the lens on the eye to harden and causes the eye to focus light behind rather than on the retina when looking at close objects.
So, what can you do about it? The first step is simple, visit your optician, optometrist, or eye doctor. Complete an eye exam and discuss the options available for you. Your potential choices can land in three different options:
- Contact lenses
The most commonly used method is eyeglasses. These are available in different versions of optical lenses:
- Progressive (allows for good vision at all distances by gradual transition between focal points)
- Bifocal (allows for two areas of focus, distant and near)
- Reading glasses (close focal point)
Contact lenses are usually multifocal or of monovision type with one lens each for distant and near vision. The brain combines the images from the two lenses into one complete image. It might take some time to adjust to this solution and you might experience some loss of depth perception. This solution is not suitable for most of the population because their binocular perception will be affected.
Different surgical methods are also available but this is more complex. First, as in all surgery, you need to be in healthy physical condition. Secondly, all surgical methods might not be suitable for you due to your your visual needs. This is a matter to discuss with your eye doctor.
One thing is evident, you (and myself included) cannot escape presbyopia once you have it. But on the bright side, there are many corrective options available for you. Also, keep in mind that presbyopia changes with age. Hence, remember to visit your optician regularly.