Presbyopia is something that usually occurs around age 40, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. You may start to experience blurry vision when reading or looking at your smartphone. Then, focusing between distances can become more difficult.

What Causes Presbyopia?

In young people, the eye’s lens is soft and flexible, readily changing shape to see images from different distances. As you age, the crystalline lens in your eye hardens and loses elasticity. With this loss of flexibility, your eyes are less able to adjust properly to focus near objects.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

People commonly mistake the symptoms of presbyopia for farsightedness. However, the two conditions have different causes: farsightedness is a result of a refractive error that occurs when the shape of the eye focuses light beyond the retina instead of on it, whereas presbyopia is due to the loss of flexibility in the lens.

The telltale symptom of presbyopia is blurred vision while reading, sewing, using a cell phone, or doing anything that requires near vision. You may also experience headaches, eye strain, or a tired feeling when doing things that require near vision.

Treatments for Presbyopia

There are many options for people with presbyopia, including contact lenses.

Common options for presbyopia include:

  • Magnifiers
  • Reading glasses or readers
  • Bifocal, trifocal or progressive eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses: Bausch + Lomb Multi-Focal contact lenses are designed to provide clear vision—up close, far away and in between. These lenses feature the 3-Zone Progressive design that eases the transitions eyes have to make from near to far distance. Talk to your eye care professional to see if Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia or Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia contact lenses are right for you.
  • Refractive eye surgery

Treating Cataracts and Presbyopia

Artificial lens implants are available that can treat both a person's cataracts and presbyopia, respectively. The lens implant uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances. Please talk to your eye care professional to learn more about this option.

Photo at top of page courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.


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