Waking up one day and finding it difficult to see clearly at reading distances even when wearing proper single vision distance glasses or contact lenses can be quite frustrating, even alarming. It may not seem possible to have your vision change so suddenly, but it is a common occurrence for many men and women over the age of 40.
Are you over the age of 40 and suddenly finding it difficult to see the words on a menu, on the computer screen, or in your favorite book? Unfortunately, this is a normal part of the aging process. Beginning around the age of 40, men and women begin to experience the symptoms of presbyopia, including:
- Having to hold reading material at arms length
- Headaches when doing work that require near vision
- Blurry vision when reading or when working on the computer
- Removing your glasses when reading (for patients who are nearsighted)
Presbyopia is common and will affect everyone between the ages of 40 to 65 at some point. In the case of presbyopia, the eye gradually loses its ability to change the focus to see near objects clearly. Over time, the natural lens of the eye thickens, causing it to lose its flexibility and to become harder. The loss of flexibility and hardening of the lens make close-up focusing difficult. There are many effective treatment options for presbyopia, including bifocals and progressive glasses and laser eye surgery.
Bifocals and Progressive Glasses
Non-prescription reading glasses may be the only treatment necessary for men and women who do not already wear corrective eye wear. Patients that are affected by presbyopia and nearsightedness or farsightedness will likely benefit from bifocals or progressive glasses. There are many popular brands of both bifocals and progressive glasses. At North County Laser Eye Associates in Carlsbad, there is a wide selection of bifocals and progressive glasses to choose from to help you see and look your very best.
It is easy to recognize bifocals by the appearance of a line on the lens. There are two lens powers contained in a bifocal lens. In bifocal lenses, a small area of the lens contains correction for near vision, while the rest of the lens typically contains correction for distance vision. To focus on objects in the distance, a patient would look up and through the lens. To focus on close-up objects a patient would look down and through the lens.
Often called no-line bifocals, progressive glasses offer advantages over bifocals. The greatest advantage of progressive glasses is that they can provide a seamless progression of lens powers at all distances. Optimal vision at all distances can be achieved with progressive glasses. Near vision, distance vision, and intermediate vision are all blended together in progressive lenses. Distance vision is typically in the upper portion of the lens, in the middle of the lens is intermediate vision, and near vision is in the lower portion which allows for a smooth visual transition.
Not every patient will be happy wearing glasses. In such cases, monovision LASIK may be a suitable treatment option. In monovision LASIK, one eye is corrected for near vision and the other eye is corrected for distance vision.
Presbyopia is an annoying, unavoidable part of the natural aging process. To learn more about presbyopia treatment options including bifocals and progressive glasses, please call, email, or vision our Carlsbad office today.