Presbyopia | What Causes it? Symptoms & Treatment

WHO survey says that more than a billion people are suffering from Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a natural occurrence associated with ageing of eye where near by vision gets progressively blurred. This causes  decrease in the focusing ability of human eye. Activities such as reading, watching movies on television, using cell phones, laptops, sewing etc. becomes hard.

It is a type of refractive error along with Nearsightedness and Farsightedness.

Presbyopia usually occurs in early 40. Initially often gets recognized by trouble in the inability of eye to focus clearly on nearby objects. It usually starts with a minor problem but becomes progressively worse if not taken proper care.  It is a natural aging process and so should not be considered as a disease.

In United States it is widespread. According to World Health Organisation, more than a billion people were presbyopic by 2005 and more than 500 million people don’t have adequate correction for it. In most of the developing countries people can’t afford to correct their  vision. It is really a matter of great concern as most of the day to day activities include close work. For this correct vision is mandatory. Also increasing cases of Presbyopia in younger generation is a major reason for illiteracy in poorer countries.

Signs and Symptoms

People usually mistake the symptoms of  presbyopia for Hypermetropia ( far-sightedness)It should be kept in mind that these two are different. Hypermetropia is caused by distortion in the shape of cornea while Presbyopia is due to loss of flexibility of eye lens.

In the initial days people find difficulty in reading fine words, blurred image of nearby objects, eye strain  while reading books for longer time etc. For reading a text they have to extend them up to arm hand distance. However as the effect of presbyopia increases their arm becomes short for reading the texts comfortably. A headache while performing near works  like  embroidery or sewing etc. is common.

What causes Presbyopia?

Normally in a healthy eye the eye lens present is soft and flexible. This flexibility of eye lens helps in focusing objects by changing its shape.  However, as one grow older the crystalline eye lens hardens and  loses its elasticity. With this loss in the  flexibility of eye, it becomes difficult to adjust your eyes. The inability of adjusting your eyes desirably results in a blurred vision.

Treatment Available

  • Eyeglasses with bi-focal lens are the most common correction method available. The lens comprises of two lens – one in the upper part while the other in the lower end of the glass.
  • Multi-focal contact lens are also available. If you don’t want to have your glasses on then this is the best alternative. Soft eye lens materials are used to comfort your eyes.
  • Surgical procedures are also available to cure the disease. This is for people who don’t want to wear glasses and contact lens or for those who are severely affected. Through surgical process refractive errors are determined and then are corrected. There are various methods available :
  1. Presby Lasik Surgery
  2. Raindrop Near Vision Inlay
  3. Kamra Corneal Inlay
  4. Monovision Conductive Keratoplasty


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