If you’re over 45, you have probably noticed changes in your distance vision, your near vision, or maybe both. You’ve likely noticed that reading clarity is not what it used to be. If you have difficulty seeing your cell phone, computer monitor, restaurant menu or newspaper, you’re not alone; everyone will eventually experience presbyopia, the loss of up-close or near vision.
Presbyopia is a slow, progressive change within the natural lens of the eye. When we’re young, the human lens is clear and flexible, allowing us to shift focus from distance to near easily. As we mature, layers of protein build up on the outer surface of the lens. These protein layers cause the lens to harden, and lose flexibility. At first, you notice you need brighter light, or need to hold things further away. Then it becomes necessary to use “cheaters”, or small magnifying reading glasses.
If you’ve worn glasses to correct your distance vision up to this point, you’ll now consider bifocals. These allow you to read easily while looking down through the reading portion of the lens, but they are sometimes frustrating as you often need to shift your sight line or adjust the glasses to capture just the right focus.
But there is hope. Recent advances in surgical and artificial lens technology have made it possible to significantly reduce or eliminate bifocals, progressive lenses and reading glasses. If you’re age 45 to 55 and want to see clearly without glasses, here are the options: