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Presbyopia: What is it?
Serving Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond & nearby areas of Oklahoma
What is it?
Like cataracts, presbyopia is a natural part of aging. The doctors of Hummel Eye Associates in Oklahoma have been treating people with presbyopia for many years. Presbyopia occurs when your eye becomes less flexible and cannot make the fine adjustments needed focus on things up close.
Presbyopia usually occurs in your 40’s, even if you have always had perfect vision. It becomes noticeable when reading or doing fine work such as sewing. You may catch yourself holding books, menus, and other reading material out away from yourself, until finally you are holding things out at arm’s length.
Presbyopia in combination with other refractive error such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism is most often treated with bifocal corrective lenses.
What causes presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process. It is not a disease and cannot be prevented. Over time, the eye loses some of it’s ability to change focus from objects far away to those up close, a process called accommodation.
When you look into the distance, your eye muscles automatically relax, allowing the lens of the eye’ to become more outwardly curved. Then the incoming light rays are bent correctly, so that you get a clear image. When you read a book, those little muscles contract, flattening the lens, so that now incoming light rays are bent at a different angle and you can see the words clearly.
Two things are most commonly believed to cause presbyopia:
- Stiffening or hardening of the natural lens
- Stiffening or weakening of the eye muscles
These two changes mean that the muscles can no longer change the lens’ curvature to enable close-up vision. They can’t contract strongly enough, and the lens can’t flatten itself enough. So the light rays are bent at the wrong angle, and you see a blurry image.
The most common treatment for presbyopia is corrective glasses.
Presbyopia cannot be corrected by reshaping your cornea, because its shape is not the problem. The lens is part of the problem. But there’s no way it can be given back its flexibility.
Clear Lens Exchange is a procedure which replaces the lens of your eye and not only corrects presbyopia, but also prevents cataracts.
LASIK monovision is another option for presbyopia. With monovision, one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye is corrected for near vision. Your brain naturally chooses the clearest image.
Everyone will eventually develop some degree of presbyopia. You can help keep the lens and muscles of your eye strong and flexible by eating a healthy diet and perhaps with eye exercises. Although this will not prevent presbyopia entirely, it could delay its development.
Hummel Eye Associates has been serving Oklahoma for more than 35 years. If you are having trouble seeing clearly close up, talk to us about presbyopia and your options for clear vision. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. Dr. Chris Hummel can answer your questions and determine the best way to address your vision problems.