Presbyopia Definition: What is Presbyopia?


Presbyopia is a condition that occurs with age. It's the gradual and normal loss of your eyes' ability to focus on objects that are nearby. Most people start noticing the effects of presbyopia typically around the age of 45 and beyond. It continues to grow worse until around the age of 60-65.

You will typically start experiencing difficulty with seeing small print clearly, including text messages on a phone.

What causes presbyopia?

Presbyopia is simply an age-related condition and is therefore unavoidable.

This condition differs from nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and caused by environmental factors and genetic factors. It's believed that this condition stems from a loss of flexibility and gradual thickening over time of the natural lenses inside your eyes.

These age-related changes begin to occur within the proteins in the eye lens, which consequently makes the lens harder and less elastic over long periods of time. Age-related changes also happen within the muscle fibres that surround the lens. When the eye has less elasticity, it has a difficult time focusing up close.

Are there any symptoms of presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a condition that develops gradually over time. You may recognise the following symptoms and signs after the age of 40:

  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance
  • A need to hold reading material, such as books, magazines, or even mobile phones, farther away in order to see the letters more clearly
  • Headaches or eye strain after reading or completing close-up work.

You may notice that these symptoms worsen if you are feeling tired or are in a room with dim lighting.

If these symptoms are causing you discomfort, then a basic eye exam can confirm whether or not you have presbyopia. The condition can also be corrected with contact lenses or glasses.

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