So, why it is that sooner or later, everybody gets presbyopia and what’s going on? It’s all about how your eyes work and how they change over time.
When you look around the world, light goes through your cornea into your pupil, the hole in the coloured part of your eye. Then it passes through the lens which focuses the light into a point on your retina; the light sensitive lining at the back of your eye which acts in a similar way to film in an old fashioned camera. From there, the image is converted to electrical impulses which are quickly whisked off to your brain which converts it into an image.
This process allows us to see the world how everyone else does and enjoy books, magazines, art, television and movies… everything. But as we age that all changes.
When you focus your eye, tiny muscles actually pull on the lens, changing it’s shape as required. When you’re young, the lens is flexible so it’s easy for those micro-muscles to focus the lens on whatever you want at various ranges. But over time, the lens becomes stiffer and rigid, and thus, it becomes a struggle to pull it into shape, especially for seeing things up close.
As a result, light starts focusing behind your retina instead of directly on it, and as a consequence, the images sent to your brain are blurred and out of focus.
By your early forties, your lenses will lose enough elasticity, that you’ll probably notice a difference when reading material at normal distances. Eventually, they’ll barely flex at all! But that is perfectly normal, even if you’ve always had perfect vision! And that is why everybody at some stage, gets presbyopia.
So if the fine print is getting hard to read, your arms aren’t long enough anymore to focus on printed material, the headaches and eye strain has started to set in or things just don’t seem to be as clear as they used to be, visit an optician as soon as you can. Because it’s more than likely to be age-related presbyopia.
There’s a whole world of choices to deal with it. A lot of people like having both multifocal contact lenses and varifocal glasses for flexibility. This route can be rather expensive though, as you have to have a prescription made up and thus, order your contact lenses and varifocals and in most cases, just have one pair of each. So if you lose a pair or break them, replacements can be very expensive and inconvenient.
Some people much prefer to get a pair of reading glasses from a high street store or from one of the many online stores offering very affordable options. Your optician will know exactly how to help you because, everybody gets it so hey can point you in the right direction and tell you what strength lenses you need. Yes, even your eye care professional gets presbyopia so they will know what to do.
So don’t worry if things have started to get a bit out of focus. We’ll all get there eventually and with the help of a good set of reading glasses, you’ll be well on your way to a normal life again, reading and enjoying everything back in focus again, just like when your lenses were supple and young.