9 Things You Didn’t Know About Presbyopia (Up-Close Reading Vision Loss)
Do you need glasses to read and see close-up clearly? Then you might have an eye condition known as presbyopia, or up-close reading vision loss. If you’re new to this eye condition, then keep reading: this blog post looks over some things you maybe didn’t know about presbyopia (up-close reading vision loss).
1. Presbyopia can happen to anyone (and there’s a good chance it’ll happen to you)
Even if you’ve never had to wear glasses before, your vision will likely change once you’ve hit your 40s (or older).That’s because, unlike other eye conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism which are visual errors caused by the shape of the eye, presbyopia comes about with age.
As we grow older, so do our eyes. The crystalline lens (found inside of the eye) begins to harden, meaning it loses some of the elasticity that once allowed it to go from up-close to far away focal distances. In a younger eye, this lens can see from near to far distances with clarity, switching from whatever range with ease. But with age, that becomes more difficult, so tasks like reading a newspaper or seeing a text message, are harder to do.
2. You can have presbyopia and another type of eye condition, too
Presbyopia isn’t a standalone eye condition. It’s possible to experience up-close reading vision loss as well as another type of eye condition, like myopia, all at once. If you had myopia and later develop presbyopic symptoms, you may find yourself experiencing diminished vision at both near and far distances. Wearing reading glasses can help correct your vision from up-close but won’t improve your far vision very much. Progressive lenses or bifocals are one means of vision correction, but these get costly should your prescription worsen over time. An alternative option, such as a procedure like PresbyVision™, may offer you a more complete and long-term solution.
3. You might confuse presbyopia with hyperopia (but they’re not the same thing)
Though they exhibit similar symptoms, presbyopia and hyperopia are different eye conditions. Both mean that you have trouble seeing objects from a close distance. Hyperopia, also called farsightedness, is a refractive error that happens when the shape of the eye focuses light on a point after the retina, instead of on it. Presbyopia, on the other hand, is exclusively linked to aging—you can’t get presbyopia any other way.
4. In most instances, presbyopia can’t be prevented
Because presbyopia is just a part of the aging process, there is virtually no way to prevent its emergence. It’s just a natural part of life—and as common as going grey. But just as hair dye lets you hide your greys, presbyopia, too, can be corrected: either through classic eyewear or medical intervention (more on that below).
5. Yes, it will likely get worse over time
Presbyopia is a degenerative eye condition, so the quality of your up-close reading vision will deteriorate with time. This also means you will need to replace your eyeglasses with new ones more frequently, as it can cause your vision to worsen. Some people even say that they need to upgrade their eyewear every two to three years for a period of about 10 years.
6. It’s not something new
Modern humans aren’t the only ones in history to be afflicted by up-close reading vision loss. In fact, presbyopia has been around for a long time. Its presence dates back a few millennia, with some ancient Greek thinkers recording recognizable presbyopia symptoms in early texts.
A discussion about age-related blurry vision appeared in a text called “Symposiacs” by a biographer and essayist named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus. In it, Plutarchus provided four explanations of what he believed this then-unnamed eyesight phenomenon to be. He asked: “why do old men hold writing material at a greater distance in order to read it?” The discussion that follows explains that older people can see objects better from a certain distance, for example when it comes to holding reading material at arm’s length. Given the specificity of his thinking, it shows that the eye condition being at hand is interpreted as being about presbyopia and not another age-related eye condition like cataracts.
This goes to show that presbyopia is a condition that’s affected many people throughout history, dating way back to ancient times. And since life expectancy was much lower back then, the condition might’ve been much rarer to notice, thus making this observation more remarkable.
7. You never knew you needed so many pairs of readers
You’re going to want to free up some space in your bedside table, your drawer at work, your purse, your glove compartment, even your shirt pocket. Chances are that with up-close reading vision loss symptoms, you’re going to be carrying a pair of readers with you virtually every where you go. While having one stylish pair seems feasible, sooner or later, you’ll start forgetting your glasses when you go out to do errands, go to work, or have supper at night. And although this “symptom” is something you won’t hear about from your eye doctor, many admit that forgetting to bring their reading glasses can be an enormous burden.
If you forget your pair at home, you’ll be forced to squint and strain to inspect that invoice more clearly. Dimly-lit restaurants will lose their charm; you’ll have to hold the candle close to the label of your wine bottle to see if it’s low in tannins. And before you know it, you’ll have a whole collection of glasses you’ve purchased from the pharmacy. You’ll be stashing them in places just to ensure you always have a pair on you. Instead of spending your money on other collector’s items, such as antiques, travel miles, or vintage bottles of wines, you’ll have more pairs of readers than you could ever possibly need.
8. Symptoms might sneak up on you
The effects that presbyopia can have on your vision happen gradually. At first, you’ll have trouble reading fine print and small texts. You’ll strain your eyes or switch on brighter lighting just to see the tiny words clearly. Headaches, migraines, and fatigue become a habitual part of your day. Driving at night will be more difficult. These are some ways presbyopia will manifest in your daily life. Next up comes the reading glasses…
9. There’s more than one way you can correct presbyopia…
Most people think their only avenue for correction comes in the form of reading glasses. And while wearing readers is often regarded as a convenient enough means of correcting up-close reading vision loss, they’re not the only option out there. Procedures like PresbyVision™ are designed to help you completely reduce your dependence on reading glasses, bifocals, or progressive lenses.
Yet another advantage of this procedure? Not only can it help treat your up-close reading vision loss, but it will also correct other eye conditions you might have, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. You will be able to enjoy clear vision from close-up, far away, and everywhere in between, too.
Here’s what steps you can take
If you have presbyopia, and don’t want to wear reading glasses anymore, there is something you can do! Book a free, no-obligation consultation to find out if you’re a candidate for our PresbyVision™ procedures.