Aging Eye Syndrome
What is Presbyopia?
- Presbyopia is a naturally-occurring, age-related condition.
- Usually, people start to notice the condition in their early 40s, but it will continue to progress well into someone's 60s if not treated.
- Have you heard the joke about needing longer arms to read a menu? This is "Presbyopia” or often called “near blur syndrome."
- Presbyopia results from a gradual decrease in accommodation -which is the eye’s ability to adjust the lens focus for various distances: up close (near); arm’s length (intermediate) and far (distance) vision.
What causes Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process. This differs from refractive errors such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Presbyopia generally is believed to be caused by:
- Gradual thickening & stiffening of the lens inside of the eye
- Gradual increased rigidity of the white part of the eye (sclera) as well as the lens inside of the eye.
- Gradual loss of the ability of the muscles of the eye to focus the lens especially for near and intermediate objects.
These age-related changes occur and with less elasticity, the eye muscles have a harder time focusing up close (accommodation) until eventually they cannot move the lens to focus at all.
Signs & Symptoms
Some signs of presbyopia include:
- The tendency to hold reading materials at arm's length.
- Blurred vision at normal reading distance.
- Eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work.
*ATTENTION: The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all adults get a baseline eye exam by age 40. In addition, adults age 65 and older should have an eye exam every 1-2 years, or as recommended by their eye doctor.