As we age, our eyes start to wear out. Just like any other muscle or joint in your body, your eyes become a little “stiff” over time. Typically starting around the age of 40, the lens inside the eye hardens and becomes less elastic. This loss of elasticity makes it more difficult for your eye to focus on close objects, which makes objects that are near your eye appear blurry. This condition is called presbyopia. If you’ve been suffering from blurred vision or think you may have this eye condition in Oshkosh, Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe can help. Here’s what you should know about presbyopia.
What are the symptoms?
Presbyopia is a gradual disease and does not affect everyone the same way or at the same time. Although most individuals begin noticing signs of presbyopia around the age of 40, some may not see symptoms until much later in life, while others may notice that their vision is getting blurry before they reach middle age. Below are some common early symptoms of presbyopia:
- Squinting at objects to “bring them into focus”
- Overall difficulty in focusing on objects that are near to you
- Suffering from headaches or eyestrain after reading, working on a computer or other close/detailed work
- Having a hard time reading small print
- Feeling fatigued or worn out after doing close/detailed work
- Holding your work or reading at arm’s length in order to bring it into focus
Who is at risk?
While there are exceptions, presbyopia typically affects individuals over the age of 40. Some diseases, such as diabetes, anemia or cardiovascular disease, can cause presbyopia in younger individuals. Certain medications may also cause early onset of presbyopia. Anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, diuretics and antihistamines have all been linked to a higher risk of presbyopia.
How is it diagnosed?
While everyone should have an annual eye exam, this becomes even more important after the age of 40. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, an annual eye exam can help identify early signs of presbyopia so your optometrist can take steps to correct your vision as soon as possible.
What is the treatment?
Unfortunately, there is no treatment to stop or reverse presbyopia, but there are things your optometrist can do to help correct your vision. The most common solution is eyeglasses or contact lenses. For some, non-prescription eyeglasses are sufficient if they have never used eyeglasses before. If the condition has progressed beyond the early stages before being detected, prescription eyeglasses may be needed. Surgery is another option for combating this condition.
How is it prevented?
While we have yet to find a way to prevent presbyopia, you can help protect your vision by getting regular eye exams and taking other steps to benefit your overall eye health, such as wearing sunglasses, using good lighting for detailed work and reading and maintaining a healthy diet. To schedule your next exam to check for this eye condition in Oshkosh, contact Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe today. We look forward to meeting with you soon.