Presbyopia is a
refractive error which results from a disorder rather than from disease. After
age 40, the lens of the
eye becomes more rigid and does not flex as easily. The
result is that it is more difficult to read at close range.
CAUSE : Starting around age 40 the eye's lens begins to lose
its elasticity. The layers of tissue accumulate on the lens - the part of your
eye that focuses on light. Eventually the cells become so densely packed that
the lens loses its ability to change shape when you shift the gaze from far to
near and gradually progress until it is unable to focus close up. The causes of presbyopia can vary from person to person, but below are some of the variables
that may affect one's near vision:
Personality type. There are emotional factors that effect how one's vision
Blurred vision at normal reading distance. May also start
experiencing problems seeing between 16 inches and three feet away as presbyopia progresses.
Eye fatigue along with headaches
when doing close work.
Some signs of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at
If you're nearsighted able to see near things more clearly presbyopia may not affect you until your
late 40s or early 50s. But if you're farsighted (able to see distant things
more clearly) you can expect presboypia to settle in, much sooner than that .
Diagnosis & Tests:
A general eye examination will be performed, including measurements to
determine a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
Tests may include:
Visual acuity - measures the smallest letters that you can read on a
standardized chart at a distance of 20 feet.
Refraction test - an eye exam that measures a person's ability to see an
object at a specific distance
Slit-lamp - an instrument used with a high-intensity light source that can
be focused to shine as a slit. It is used with the biomicroscope (an optical
instrument that is like a microscope with two eyepieces).
Presbyopia is commonly treated
cover the cornea, the
contact lenses. In some
cases, the addition of bifocals to an existing lens prescription is sufficient.
With the use of contact lenses, some people choose to correct one eye for
near and one eye for far. This is called "monovision" and eliminates the need
for bifocals or reading glasses, but can interfere with depth perception.
Just keep in mind. If you opt for extended wear contacts you need to be
vigilant about possible corneal problems. Remove the lenses promptly if your
eyes becomes uncomfortable teary or red, your eyelids gets inflamed or your
Squeezing out perfect vision
A tiny artificial eye muscle may soon do the work of conventional glasses,
helping both the
near and the farsighted achieve perfect vision. Research from the University of
new Mexico, in Albuquerque, announced in March 2002 that they were developing a
'smart eye band' that can be sewn onto the tough white outer part of the
eyeball. From there, the device can temporarily squeeze the eyeball into the
shape best suited for overcoming specific vision problems. For example, slightly
elongating the eyeball brings close-up objects into focus, helping the
farsighted to read.
The artificial muscles consists of a synthetic compound covered by a gold coil
that is activate by a magnetic field. The user controls the action with a switch
hooked like a hearing aid over the ear. With nothing more than a press of a
button, you can change your focus from the newspaper in front of you to the
action outside the window with no loss of clarity - and there's no looking
around for where you left your glasses. The researchers hope the advice will be
available in there to five years.
Presbyopia is a normal part of the
natural aging process, hence it is difficult to prevent its occurrence. A
combination of visual therapy, nutrition, and lifestyle changes can help slow
down the progression of presbyopia, and possibly even improve vision.
Manage chronic stress in your
life. Chronic, long-term stress has been shown in numerous studies to
contribute to serious disease, and is suspected to cause such eye diseases as
glaucoma. Managing this stress would go a long way towards helping preserve
one's health and vision. There are a number of great techniques including
and tai chi.
Eat healthy. Many studies have confirmed that a
regular diet that
includes green, leafy vegetables and grains, can significantly lower one's
likelihood of getting eye disease, particularly macular degeneration and
Maintain a regular,
walking 4-5 times a
week is excellent.
If you are a computer user, avoid long hours of focus on the screen.
Clean eyes twice daily with clean water
Visit an eye specialist at least once a year in case of a normal vision or
twice in case a person is suffering from diabetes.