Among patients over forty years old, there is a natural stiffening of the crystalline lens that occurs with age. This results in what is known as presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs when the correction of a patient’s distance vision alone (whether it be myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or a combination of these refractive errors) will result in good distance vision, but the near vision remains blurred due to the natural stiffness of the lens. The end result will be clear distance vision, but poor near vision.

Freedom from Reading Glasses

The Conlon Eye Institute offers a variety of options to correct presbyopia, a natural aging process of the eye, so you can maintain a glasses-free lifestyle.

Presbyopia FAQ

Q: What causes presbyopia?

A: Normal, age-related changes in your eye’s crystalline lens and the surrounding ring of tiny muscle that allows the lens to change length/shape.

Q: What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

A: Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Eye strain and/or headaches after reading, working up-close, etc.
  • Difficulty reading small print
  • Fatigue following close work
  • Requiring brighter lights to read/complete close work
  • Holding reading material at an arm’s distance to read it

Q: What are the risk factors for presbyopia?

A: The primary risk for presbyopia is age as most people lose focusing ability by age forty.

Certain conditions can cause premature presbyopia:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Farsightedness

Some medications may also increased risk of premature presbyopia:

  • Alcohol
  • Antianxiety drugs
  • Antidepressants

Q: Who gets presbyopia?

A: Presbyopia arises for individuals in their forties, but some people might not notice reading problems until their late forties or even fifties.

Q: How is presbyopia diagnosed?

A: Presbyopia is diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination. This will include pupil dilation, to closely examine the inside of the eye.

Q: Can I prevent presbyopia?

A: There is no proven method for presbyopia prevention, as the gradual stiffening of the lens affects everyone with age. General measures to promote eye health include:

  • Regular eye examinations
  • Good control of general medical conditions
  • Wearing sunglasses
  • Avoid eye injury with protective eyeglasses
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Ensure good lighting for reading

Q: What are the options to correct presbyopia?

A: There are a number of options to correct presbyopia. Options currently offered by the Conlon Eye Institute include refractive lens exchange (RLE) with multifocal implants or Monovision LASIK/PRK (for those people that are noncandidates for RLE).

Q: Can presbyopia occur if I have had previous LASIK surgery, and can this problem be fixed?

A: Yes, presbyopia will occur even if you have had LASIK or PRK in the past. Many patients that have had LASIK/PRK early in life to correct their distance vision remain spectacle independent, but the vast majority will require reading glasses sometime between 45-50 years of age. The Conlon Eye Institute has a number of options available that allow this group of patients to continue to remain free from external eyewear for the remainder of their lives.