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Eye health centre

Presbyopia

Long-sightedness that develops with age is called presbyopia and is caused by the tissue in the eye becoming stiffer and less flexible.

Presbyopia generally starts to appear after 40 and can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Blurred vision at a normal reading distance.
  • The need to hold reading material at arm's length.
  • Headaches from doing close work.

How is presbyopia diagnosed?

An optometrist can diagnose presbyopia by performing a thorough eye examination.

Presbyopia

How is presbyopia treated?

Presbyopia cannot be cured. Instead, prescription glasses, contact lenses, reading glasses, progressive addition lenses, or bifocals can help correct the effects of presbyopia. Bifocals are often prescribed for presbyopia. Bifocals are eyeglasses that have two different prescriptions in one spectacle lens. The main part of the lens contains a prescription for short-sightedness or long-sightedness, while the lower portion of the lens holds a stronger prescription to help a person see objects up-close. Progressive addition lenses are similar to bifocals but have a more gradual transition between the two prescriptions.

Contact lenses used to treat presbyopia include multifocal lenses, which come in soft or gas permeable versions, and monovision lenses, in which one eye wears a lens that aids in seeing objects at a distance, while the other has a lens that aids in near vision.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on February 22, 2016

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