If you’re above 40 and experience a degree of difficulty reading or focusing on objects, you may be affected by presbyopia. Also called age-related farsightedness, it‘s a common condition in which the eyes gradually lose the ability to focus on nearby objects. That said, presbyopia makes reading or performing other tasks that require a close-up approach difficult.
Diagnosing and correcting this eye disease is the domain of an optometrist. To that end, this article will explore presbyopia, its causes and symptoms, and how an optometrist can help you manage it.
Causes And Symptoms Of Presbyopia
As mentioned earlier, presbyopia is a normal condition as you age. Data from diverse medical sources indicate that over 80% of people between the ages of 45-55 suffer from presbyopia. This condition develops due to the lens in the eyes becoming less flexible, affecting the correct focusing of light on the retina. Due to this, objects held close to the eyes seem blurry.
Typically, the symptoms include eye strains, headaches, and difficulty focusing on objects. Find out more about presbyopia and other relevant information through reliable online resources to understand the condition better.
How Can An Optometrist Help You?
An optometrist’s primary role is to provide comprehensive eye care. In the case of presbyopia, they can help you in the following ways:
1. They Can Perform A Comprehensive Eye Examination
An optometrist may subject you to a refraction assessment or an eye health exam to determine what affects your sight.
The eye care professional can use a vision card and a Snellen chart to assess your ability to see up close and at various distances. These tests will help the optometrist determine if presbyopia is the correct diagnosis.
2. An Optometrist Can Diagnose You
Using the basic eye assessment results, an optometrist can diagnose you with presbyopia or any other eye condition. Some of the factors they’ll consider are your age and overall symptoms.
If the diagnosis is negative for presbyopia, they’ll advise you on the next steps.
3. Prescribe Eyewear
After a presbyopia diagnosis, an optometrist may recommend the appropriate contact lenses or glasses to help correct your vision.
Depending on your specific needs and preferences, some of these prescriptions could be reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses. Also, they may recommend unique multifocal or monovision contact lenses to correct near and distance vision, allowing you to see clearly at various distances.
4. Surgery Consultation
If an optometrist establishes that your eye problems need further medical attention, they may provide referrals and consultations for corrective surgeries. The most common procedures are LASIK and lens replacement surgery.
LASIK, an acronym for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is designed to correct general vision issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia. During this surgery, a specialized laser is used to reshape the cornea to improve how the eye focuses light onto the retina, leading to clearer vision.
LASIK surgery is classified as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day. Also, it’s generally painless, given that the surgeon uses anesthetic eye drops and laser technology, which doesn’t cause discomfort.
Depending on your condition, an optometrist can either recommend you undergo this surgery or simply prescribe eyewear.
5. Continued Eye Care
Optometrists can assess the changes in your vision and adjust your prescription as needed. Also, they can detect and manage other eye conditions that may arise alongside presbyopia.
How To Care For The Eye After Presbyopia Diagnosis
However, a key point to note is that presbyopia has no cure, as its an aging condition. However, after a diagnosis, do the following to take care of your eyes:
- Go for regular eye check-ups so that an optometrist can monitor your condition and adjust your eyewear as needed.
- Use your prescribed eyewear correctly and consistently.
- Ensure you work or read in a room with good lighting to minimize eye strain.
- Ensure that you follow the 20-20-20 rule when using your electronic devices or reading; that is, every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.
- Follow your optometrist’s instructions for lens care to avoid infections.
Eye On The Prize
After the age of 40, presbyopia is inevitable. Therefore, don’t hesitate to visit an optometrist when you experience a decline in your vision. They can immediately embark on measures like prescribing corrective lenses and providing vision therapy. Their prompt action may help correct your vision’s decline and restore its functionality even as you age.