PresbyopiaPresbyopia usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people start having trouble reading small print or seeing their computer and smartphone screens clearly. One can't escape presbyopia, even if he or she never had a vision problem before. Even people who are nearsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.
Presbyopia Symptoms And SignsWhen you become presbyopic, you either have to hold your smartphone and other objects and reading material (books, magazines, menus, labels, etc.) farther from your eyes to see them more clearly. Unfortunatelythis is only a temporary and partially successful solution to presbyopia.
Also, even if you can still see pretty well up close, presbyopia can cause headaches, eye strain and visual fatigue that makes reading and other near vision tasks less comfortable and more tiring.
What Causes Presbyopia?Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process. This differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors. Presbyopia generally is believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye.
Presbyopia Treatment: EyeglassesEyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are the most common correction for presbyopia. Bifocal means two points of focus: the main part of the spectacle lens contains a prescription for distance vision, while the lower portion of the lens holds the stronger near prescription for close work.
Progressive addition lenses are multifocal lensesthat offer a more gradual visual transition between distance and near focus with no visible line between them. Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike bifocals and PALs, which most people wear all day, reading glasses typically are worn just during close work.
Because the human lens continues to change as you grow older, your presbyopic prescription will need to be increased over time as well. You can expect your eye care practitioner to prescribe a stronger correction for near work as you need it.
Presbyopia Treatment: SurgeryAs presbyopia is a aging process, attempts at Surgical correction have been partially successful till now. Some of the surgical corrective procedures for presbyopia include: Monovision LASIK, PresbyLASIK and Refractive lens exchange - is virtually the same as cataract surgery, but the natural lens that is being replaced has not yet become clouded by a cataract. The surgeon can select a multifocal IOL or an accommodating IOL to restore near vision.
Progressive Lenses Replace Bifocals For Age-Defying AppearanceIf you are in your 40s (or older) and are having trouble reading fine print with your glasses, progressive lenses offer a younger-looking appearance and other advantages over the lined bifocal lenses your parents wore.
Advantages Of Progressive Lenses Over Bifocals And TrifocalsIn addition to cosmetic advantages, progressive multifocal lenses provide a more natural correction of presbyopia than bifocal or trifocal prescription eyeglasses. Instead of having just two or three lens powers like bifocals or trifocals, progressive lenses are true "multifocal" lenses that provide a seamless progression of many lens powers for all viewing distances.
With progressive lenses, you can look up to see clearly across the room and in the distance. You also can look ahead to view your computer in the intermediate zone and drop your gaze downward to read and do fine work comfortably through the near zone of the lenses.
And it's easy to adapt to today's modern progressive lenses.
A "corridor" of optimum lens power runs vertically down each progressive lens. Your eye care practitioner will take careful measurements of your eyes and eyeglass frame in order to place the corridor in just the right location so your eyes can naturally access the various powers within the lens for comfortable viewing at all distances. Progressive lenses eliminate an annoying problem caused by bifocal and trifocal lenses known as "image jump."With conventional bifocals and trifocals, images seem to "jump" as your eyes move past the sharply defined boundary between the distance and near parts of the lens. With progressive lenses, the transition between lens powers within the lens is smooth and seamless, letting you change focus from distance to near and back again more comfortably, with no image jump.
Choosing The Best Progressive Lenses For Your NeedsThe popularity of progressive lenses has exploded in recent years, making progressives the most widely purchased lenses for correcting presbyopia. Today there are many progressive lens designs to fit virtually any needs.
The differences in lens design are related mainly to the length and width of the progressive power corridor and how much of it is devoted to different viewing distances. Different areas of the corridor may be expanded, depending on the design philosophy of the manufacturer and the intended purpose of the lens. Some progressive lenses are made specially for computer use, for example, and have a wider intermediate zone. Other progressive lens designs may have a larger reading portion. Your eye care practitioner is in the best position to evaluate which lens style will work best for you. Progressive lenses also are available in a wide variety of materials, including regular plastic and glass, polycarbonate, high-index and photochromic lenses.
Adapting To Your Progressive LensesWhen you are fitted with your first pair of progressive lenses, you may need a short adaptation period to become fully comfortable using the lenses. This might take only a few minutes, or it could take a few days.
Minor peripheral aberrations are unavoidable in progressive lenses. It is impossible to create a seamless (line-free) multifocal lens that has multiple powers for different viewing distances without also creating unwanted aberrations somewhere in the lens.
Lens designers and manufacturers have made significant strides in minimizing these aberrations and "pushing" them to the periphery of modern progressive lenses. But peripheral aberrations will be present even when progressive lenses are flawlessly produced using the latest manufacturing equipment and processes — they are an unavoidable optical limitation of all progressive lenses.
Because of these aberrations, if you glance to the far right or left, especially when looking down, you might notice your vision is slightly blurred. Peripheral aberrations also might cause you to experience a sensation of "swim" when you make quick head movements.
If you experience these problems when you start wearing a new pair of progressive lenses, you usually can eliminate them by making slight head movements to look more directly at objects. Most people who notice peripheral vision problems when wearing progressive lenses find that these issues are relatively mild and disappear as they adapt to wearing the lenses over a period of a few days.
If you have a lot of hyperopia, adapting to progressive lenses may take a bit longer than if you are only mildly farsighted or are nearsighted. But with today's lens designs, nearly everyone can wear progressive lenses successfully.
To make sure you get the best value in progressive lenses, talk to our professional optician, who will be able to recommend a customized progressive lens solution for your specific needs and give you helpful tips on adapting to and caring for your new lenses.