Presbyopia and Reading Your Newspaper Past 40
If you’re finding yourself pushing your iPad or newspaper away to see it more clearly, you may be a candidate to join the Presbyopia Club. Presbyopia is a condition of the eyes where small, internal muscles weaken over time, slowing down our ability to focus on things that are close up. While this blurred vision is perfectly normal, it’s annoying, and it’s good to know you have choices to help you see the fine print.
Because your eyes will no longer accommodate for near vision, you might rely on over-the-counter reading glasses. For some people, this is an easy fix. For those of us who require additional help, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses can come to the rescue. Remember that even if you read easily with these “cheater” readers, remember that it’s still necessary to have a comprehensive eye examination to check the health of the eyes each year.
Bifocals and trifocals
There are many options in eyeglass lenses for the presbyope, from lined bifocals to no-line progressives. Lined bifocals and trifocals offer a slightly limited view of the world, giving you up to three focal lengths: Distance, reading and intermediate vision. No-line progressives give you an unlimited view in the central corridor, allowing you to focus from reading to distance and everything in between. These are a great choice for many people.
Today’s better progressive lenses are generated using digital processes, making them easier to adapt to, and useful in more situations. Because the prescription is ground into the interior surface of the lens, it fits more closely to the eye, and opens up the view similarly to how looking closely through a keyhole allows you to see more of the room behind. These special lenses may take a little longer to product, but will offer a more natural view of the world around you.
Some people prefer contact lenses to improve their near vision. There are options available including monovision fits, where you wear one lens for distance, and the other for close up views. There are also contact lenses available that allow you to focus both close up and far away. If you are interested in contact lenses, ask your eyecare provider for a recommendation based on your own prescription. Often you can try them out before you buy.
Whatever you decide, it’s nice to know that you have choices.