Presbyopia is caused by changes in the lens inside the eye. As people age, the lens becomes harder and less elastic, making it more difficult for the eye to focus on close objects. Presbyopia is a vision defect that happens due to the weakening of the ciliary muscles of the eye lens. Presbyopia is typically present in individuals aged 40 years and above. Some of the common visual symptoms are:
- Having difficulty reading small print
- Requiring brighter light when reading
- Having eye strain or headache when reading or doing work close up
- Difficulty focusing on objects that are nearer
Presbyopia can be managed with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. This defect is usually corrected by using glasses with bifocal power of suitable focal lengths. The upper part of the lens is a concave lens corrects myopia to see the distant objects clearly while the lower part of the lens has a convex lens corrects the hypermetropia to see the nearby objects clearly.
What are the different types of presbyopia?
There are five types of presbyopia:
- Premature presbyopia: Presbyopia occurring before the age of 40 years.
- Incipient presbyopia: It is the earliest stage when it may be a bit more difficult to read small prints.
- Functional presbyopia: This occurs when patients begin to notice more problems with near sight.
- Absolute presbyopia: Eyes cannot focus on near objects at all.
- Nocturnal presbyopia: Eyes cannot focus on near objects in low light conditions.
What are different presbyopia correcting procedures?
The different types of presbyopia-correcting procedures include:
- Corneal inlay: The inlay typically is implanted in the nondominant eye. This allows both eyes to be used for distance vision while the inlay sharpens near vision in the non-dominant eye. The procedure takes around 15 minutes and can be performed in a treatment room. No stitches are needed. Healing time may vary but most people are able to resume their normal activities within 24-48 hours.
- Monovision LASIK: LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In situ Keratomileusis. This is the most popular form of laser eye surgery and is a means of altering the refractive power of the cornea. This modified LASIK procedure creates the same effect as monovision with contact lenses but without the need to wear contacts.
- Surgery: It is a refractive lens exchange, also referred to as RLE. A refractive lens exchange is virtually the same procedure as cataract surgery, but in this instance, the natural lens being replaced has not yet become clouded by a cataract. After thoroughly examining the patient and consulting with the patient regarding their lifestyle and vision preferences, the surgeon selects a special multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) or an accommodating intraocular lens to restore near vision.
How frequently should I check my eyesight?
Eyesight testing frequency depends on the patient’s age, family history, and any pre-existing medical conditions. People at high risk of sight problems need more frequent eyesight checks especially people with
- Raised pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
- Family history of eye problems
- Older age
- High myopia
Low-risk people with no symptoms of an eyesight problem do not need to have their eyes tested so frequently.
- A patient who is under the risk category may need to have at least 2 yearly (biennial) eye examinations.
- Patients over 50 years and more age without risk factors may require a yearly (annual) eye examination
- If patients have more than one risk factor, then an eyesight check is recommended at least every 3 years once they reach 40 years of age.