There are approximately 1.8 billion cases of presbyopia across the world, and approximately 45% of them go untreated. It’s one of the most common eye problems in the world but is unfortunately unavoidable.
While there is no way to prevent it as it’s a natural result of aging, knowing about it before you experience its symptoms helps you treat it and live with its effects.
Read on to find the answer to your questions, including what is presbyopia, what causes it, and how can it be treated?
Table of Contents
What Is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is one of many vision issues that occur as we age. It’s a refractive problem that causes the lens to harden and lose its elasticity, affecting its ability to focus and see objects up close.
Eyes form an image when the clear cornea on the front of your eye and the lens in the middle refract light entering in. An image forms when they change shape.
A healthy lens can relax and constrict based on how far an object is from your eye. Presbyopia causes it to harden, reducing its ability to focus on and create a clear image of nearby objects.
If you want to know about the prevalence and impact of the condition, view more here.
What Causes It?
Age is the primary cause of presbyopia, but you may experience premature presbyopia before the age of 40. Conditions that increase the risk of this include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cardiovascular disease
Drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, antispasmodics, antihistamines, cholesterol medicines, and diuretics may increase your risk even further.
Presbyopia can also be genetic. Your eye shape is another important factor, and if you’re already farsighted, you may develop it sooner than most.
Smoking also increases your risk. Other lifestyle factors such as screentime, and sun exposure may play a part, but the association isn’t as clear.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
A few vision problems that hint at presbyopia include holding reading material farther away than usual, blurred vision at a normal reading distance.
You may also experience eyestrain or headaches after reading or working on items up-close. These symptoms become even worse in dimmer light.
Symptoms such as a sudden loss of vision in one eye, flashes of lights, black spots, or sudden blurry or double vision are more severe. Get immediate eye care if you notice these.
How Is It Treated?
A doctor can help determine if your eye problems are the result of presbyopia or other conditions such as cataracts, dry eyes, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or convergence insufficiency.
There is no cure for presbyopia because it’s the natural result of aging, but glasses, contacts, or bifocals can lessen its effects. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases.
Be sure to receive regular eye care from a doctor to ensure that the condition doesn’t worsen.
Where Can I Learn More?
Answering a question like “what is presbyopia” starts with learning how the eye processes images. The lens constricts and retracts to send images to the cornea. Presbyopia hardens it and makes this harder to do.
Signs of the condition include an inability to read and work up close. There is no cure, but surgery or corrective lenses can help.
Read the rest of our content for more eye problems to look out for as you age.