What Is Presbyopia?

At approximately age 45 most people start to have problems reading small print.  This is called presbyopia and is caused when the focusing muscle of the eye can no longer reshape the lens inside the eye to produce near focusing.  This happens whether the person was previously nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

  • Increasing difficulty focusing on small objects.
  • Holding objects further away.
  • Headaches above the eyes, eye fatigue, and eyestrain.

Although the most common factor is age, certain disease conditions as well as eye or head trauma can bring about the onset of presbyopia earlier.  Some of these factors are:

  • Female gender
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Some medications
  • Eye or head trauma

What Causes Presbyopia?

Inside the eye, just behind the iris is the lens.  In order to focus for reading, the focusing muscle brings about a change in the shape of the lens.  Prior to approximately age 45, the lens is very flexible and the focusing muscle can easily make these changes.  However, with advancing age, the lens becomes less and less flexible so that the focusing muscle cannot change it and reading as well as other fine vision tasks requires reading glasses

Presbyopia is more common than myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, and will affect virtually everyone by the mid-40's.

Can I Prevent Presbyopia?

We are not aware of any way to prevent the onset of presbyopia.

Patients in their early to mid-40's, who are beginning to have to hold reading material further away in order to focus, should have an eye exam to determine whether the cause is the development of presbyopia.

What Can I Do About Presbyopia?

Options include reading glasses, bifocals, contact lenses, and Refractive Surgery.

The most versatile and permanent correction is PRK to create monovision, in which the dominant eye is corrected for distance viewing and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision.  Dr. Gold has monovision himself and has treated hundreds of patients with this method.  He carefully tests for the patient's ability to adapt to monovision at the time of the Free Screening or the pre-operative exam.  Most people can tolerate monovision very nicely, but there is the rare person who just does not like the effect.  Although it is very rare to have to do so, monovision can be reversed if the situation after surgery warrants.

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Dr. Gold is knowledgeable and wonderful to work with. His staff, wife included, were warm and helpful with all of my many questions. And at the end of the healing process, my vision is perfect with no glasses!!!! I am very happy I had PRK done! Joan T.

Message

Dr. Gold is knowledgeable and wonderful to work with. His staff, wife included, were warm and helpful with all of my many questions. And at the end of the healing process, my vision is perfect with no glasses!!!! I am very happy I had PRK done! Joan T.

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Message

Dr. Gold is knowledgeable and wonderful to work with. His staff, wife included, were warm and helpful with all of my many questions. And at the end of the healing process, my vision is perfect with no glasses!!!! I am very happy I had PRK done! Joan T.