Near Vision Decline
Near Vision Decline (Presbyopia)
Our natural lens is clear and elastic when we are in our twenties. It’s able to change its shape to focus on objects at different distances like a camera lens. However, as we reach our forties and fifties, we begin to lose our ability to focus up close without reading glasses. This gradual loss of near vision is called presbyopia, and it’s due to changes in our eye’s natural lens.
Unfortunately, presbyopia is a condition that gets worse over time. At first, we start requiring reading glasses only in low light conditions, but over time this shifts to requiring reading glasses all the time. With further passage of time, the lens of our eye starts to cloud and form a cataract which causes vision loss that is uncorrectable by glasses and contacts.
What Causes Presbyopia
Presbyopia is caused by natural aging processes in our eye and is a condition that everyone will eventually experience with age. Even if you are normally nearsighted, you’ll still notice the near-vision loss even when you’re wearing contacts or glasses to correct your eyes to see well at a distance.
Treatment of Near Vision Decline
If you already wear eyeglasses for other vision problems, now you may need bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses. Bifocals correct for close-up and far vision. A line, which may or may not be visible, divides the lens into two parts. The bottom section of the lens refracts light for close up vision. The top section refracts light to allow you to see distant objects. Trifocals have three lens sections to correct for close-up, mid-range and far vision. Progressive lenses correct vision like bifocals and trifocals, but instead of a line that divides each area, refraction changes gradually in the lens from top to bottom.
Some people prefer to wear contact lenses rather than eyeglasses. There are two types of contact lenses that help presbyopia. Monovision contacts correct one eye for distance vision and the other for close-up vision. You need to adapt to monovision lenses and train your brain to see this way. You may find you lose your ability to judge an object’s distance or speed with monovision lenses. Multifocal contacts have several rings or zones set at different powers. With this design, you’re actually using both near and far vision at the same time. However, your brain will learn to automatically select the right focus for what you want to see. A multifocal lens may make your vision less sharp than when using a monofocal lens.
Refractive lens exchange, also called lens replacement surgery or clear lens extraction, may be a good option for people with near vision decline (presbyopia). Refractive lens exchange replaces your eye’s clear natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct your refractive error and achieve sharp focus. The procedure for refractive lens exchange is virtually identical to cataract surgery except the lens being replaced is still clear, rather than a cloudy lens due to a cataract. As in cataract surgery, several types of IOLs are available to replace your natural lens, depending on your vision needs and the health of your eyes. Ask us about our premium IOLs and how they can give you crisp, clear vision without the need for glasses or contacts.
Please click on this link to The American Academy of Ophthalmology for further information: