The Easy Answer to Presbyopia Correction
Presbyopia has always been with us. The first sign of the condition is sometimes jokingly referred to as short-armed syndrome. It seems to strike people sometime after their fortieth birthday and is so named for its easily observable first symptom. Those afflicted, in an attempt to compensate for their inability to read fine print, begin to hold papers and books farther and farther from their eyes. Only when they reach the end of their reach, so to speak, do they begrudgingly give up and admit they need reading glasses. Since the condition strikes when people are at the prime of their careers, with at least two decades of work ahead of them – much of it calling focusing on screens filled with words, diagrams, or code – it’s vitally important to know all the current options for presbyopia correction.
What Presbyopia is, And What It Isn’t
Presbyopia is a normal physical phenomenon in which the eye gradually loses its ability to focus. Although it is first noticed around the age of 40 to 45, when people begin to have problems seeing fine print, presbyopia is not limited to near-field focusing problems. Since it is caused by a change in the protein of the lens (making the lens increasingly harder, thicker and inelastic), those with presbyopia find that as time goes by and the lens continues to change, they have a harder time focusing… period.
Very few escape presbyopia. Even those who can still focus on the smallest print often complain of headaches, visual fatigue, and eye strain, making reading and texting physically taxing at times. Nearsighted individuals who find themselves squinting or straining when they attempt to focus up close while wearing corrective lens or glasses may get a reprieve by removing them but, sooner or later, it catches up to them.
Speaking of nearsightedness, also known as myopia, presbyopia differs from it and other refractive errors like farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism in that these conditions result from the shape of the cornea and are genetic or environmental in nature, whereas presbyopia is the beginning of what ophthalmologists call dysfunctional lens syndrome:
Stage one occurs in the early forties and progresses through the fifties, gradually weakening focusing ability.
Stage two, typically starting in the fifties and continuing through the sixties, turns the lens hazy and/or yellow, necessitating more light for reading and close work. Night vision problems and an increasing intolerance for glare also emerge at this point.
Stage three usually holds off until the seventies when cataracts form.
Presbyopia has become more than an age-related problem. It’s an economic one, as well. The U.S. Census Bureau, looking at its effect on global productivity, reports that there were 1.272 billion cases worldwide in 2011. A total of 244 million of these occurred in people under the age of fifty whose presbyopia was either under-corrected, or remained uncorrected, and were associated with a potential productivity loss of $11.023 billion USD, (0.016% of the global GDP). With this in mind, it’s easy to see why presbyopia correction is critically important for all involved.
Presbyopia Correction Options
Fortunately, presbyopia is not an insurmountable problem. Life goes on, and as it does, ophthalmic medicine continues to present us with more and more sight-saving options. They range from the tried-and-true to the surgically-complex, to the new and incredibly easy adjustable focus reading glasses.
Fixed Distance Eyeglasses
- Reading glasses, the traditional way of dealing with presbyopia, are either prescribed by an ophthalmologist or bought “off the rack.” However, the need to put them on and take them off all day is not only maddening for wearers but also, more often than not, results in them being misplaced or left behind in a restaurant.
- Bifocal reading glasses solve the on and off problem since the lenses are divided into two clearly demarcated sections, the upper used for distance, and the lower for close work. Therefore, wearers don’t need to take them off each time they look up or away. However, some complain about the constant shifting of gaze makes them feel nauseous.
- Progressive reading glasses work much the same as bifocals, but without the tattletale line. The section optimized for distance gradually blends into that intended for close work.
However, for many wearers, the major problem with all three of these options is not how well they work, but vanity, or a fear of looking “old.”
Those who prefer wearing contacts have two choices:
- Monovision provides presbyopia correction by fitting the wearer with two different prescription lenses— one for distance vision, usually worn in the dominant eye, and one for close work in the other. The brain soon learns the difference. The main problem is compromised depth perception.
- Multifocal contact lenses provide the wearer with clear vision across several focal points, but as presbyopia intensifies, wearers need to be fitted with progressively stronger prescriptions.
For those who want a more permanent solution, there are several types of corrective surgery.
- CK or Conductive Keratoplasty uses radio frequency waves to alter the shape of the cornea of one eye in order to improve near vision.
- Lasik uses a laser to correct the dominant eye for distance, leaving the less dominant one for near vision.
- RLE or Refractive Lens Exchange is similar to cataract surgery except that the lens replaced has not yet been clouded over. The surgeon may choose to replace it with a multifocal interocular lens (IOL) to correct near vision or an accommodating IOL to adjust focus across all distances.
Both Lasik and CK function much like monovision and come with similar complaints. In the case of Lasik, patients complain that the resulting distance vision falls short in its degree of acuity.
Even leading ophthalmologists regret that there is no perfect cure for presbyopia but hope that procedures currently being developed will provide the ultimate answer. While these may be years in the offing, an easy answer to presbyopia correction already exists: It doesn’t call for surgery or contact lenses and has all the simplicity of reading glasses, but without the need for bifocal or multifocal lenses.
Adjustable Focus Reading Glasses
While traditional reading glasses limit users to one specific distance, adjustable focus glasses provide a range of distances to accommodate a person’s specific degree of presbyopia. All it takes is a simple adjustment to obtain a full range of precise view at different distances (Adlens UZOOM glasses can be adjusted to see anywhere from 9 inches to 6.5 feet away). In fact, it’s as easy as one, two, three.
Step 1: Turn both the left and right temple dials all the way forward.
Step 2. Closing one eye at a time, turn the other eye’s dial back while focusing on an object.
Step 3. Adjust each lens’s power to focus at different distances.
Adlens UZOOM is designed for users of non-prescription readers, comes in a range of adjustable readers, and includes a magnifying boost for up-close tasks like wiring a plug or reading fine print. And for those who work on computer screens or tablets, Adlens offers reading glasses called UZOOM Screen Protect that reduce computer eye strain and cut blue light exposure by 30 percent.
To learn about how adjustable focus reading glasses work, or to try Adlens UZOOM hassle-free, visit https://adlens.com today.