Beginning at approximately age 40, most people find themselves holding reading material further from their eyes in order to see the print clearly. This loss of close-up focusing power, known as “presbyopia” (Latin for “old man’s eyes”) is caused by age-related stiffening of the eye lens, which eventually makes reading at a normal distance impossible. At this point, those with no previous need for prescription lenses often resist their need for reading glasses out of vanity, denial, or the mistaken notion that wearing glasses makes eyes weaker. However, the fact is that eyes are going to lose their near focusing ability as we get older whether or not we wear glasses, so we might as well opt for sharper vision. To help you compensate for presbyopia, your eye doctor can prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, or contact lenses. Presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, so your optometrist will determine the specific lenses that will allow you to see clearly and comfortably. With a little practice, using multifocal (progressive) lenses gives the wearer multiple distance corrections in a single lens without the telltale dividing lines.
Jul 26, 2013