Presbyopia Explained

Presbyopia Affects Near Vision

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:

Distance-Correcting LASIK

This corrects both eyes for optimized distance viewing, affording the best night vision and binocular vision with good depth perception.  Above age 45 or so, use of inexpensive reading glasses will be necessary at close ranges.


Monovision LASIK

Most patients who receive traditional LASIK will be glasses-free until their mid-forties, when presbyopia sets in.  But LASIK can help correct both distance and reading vision.  Called Monovision, this technique adjusts one eye to see things close up, while the other eye sees things at a distance. Some people adapt to this so that with both eyes open, clear vision is appreciated at near and far.


Clear Lens Replacement

Clear Lens Replacement is the same procedure as cataract surgery, but it is performed before a cataract is detected.  This is done to remove the presbyopic natural lens and replace it with a Lifestyle Lens that provides a fuller range of vision without glasses. In effect, this new lens implant will put the multifocality back into your eye. Many patients choose this option over LASIK, because clear lens replacement is a permanent solution to presbyopia, offering better near and far vision than LASIK can deliver.

Learn about Lifestyle Lens Implant options from Dr. Zimm.

If you’d like to learn more about solutions for near and distance vision, presbyopia correction and lens replacement, please call us at 239-949-2021 or request an appointment today.

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