Presbyopia in Detail
Presbyopia is the progressive inability of the eye to focus on near objects as a person ages. The cause of it has been widely studied over the years and is still subject to debate. But many ophthalmologists agree that presbyopia is caused by a loss of elasticity of the natural crystalline lens of the eye, making it difficult for this lens to change shape or “accommodate” in order to focus on close objects. Changes in the curvature of the lens as it grows over time and loss of power in the muscles attached to the lens have also been postulated as causes.
The first symptoms of presbyopia are typically experienced when a person reaches their forties, and begins to have difficulty reading fine print. Eventually, their arms “become too short” to hold reading materials at a comfortable distance. People who have reported good distance vision for most of their lives and good near vision up to their forties are the first to realize the effects of presbyopia. People with myopia (nearsightedness) with or without some astigmatism often can read unaided well into their later years, but eventually may need eyeglasses or corrective surgery.
The most common solution to presbyopia is to use reading glasses. But most people, especially those who can see reasonably well at distance, find them a bothersome solution since they must constantly switch between having the glasses on to read and removing them for doing routine tasks.