Free Press Journal

When Presbyopia Strikes: Dealing with Vision after 40 years of age



New Delhi: A natural occurrence, presbyopia (literally meaning ‘ageing eye’) will eventually happen to everyone typically around age 40, whether you are short-sighted, farsighted or have perfect vision. People with presbyopia will no longer have clear vision at all distances and near vision, blurring occurs even if they are wearing their regular glasses or contact lenses. So, your old spectacles will no longer suffice for all needs.

What causes presbyopia?
Much like osteoarthritis is caused by age-related depletion of cartilage from the bones, presbyopia is caused by the ageing ofthe lenses in the eye. When we are younger, the lenses inside our eyes are more flexible with a greater ability to adjust focus at all distances. However with age, the lens tends to become more rigid and hardened, losing its ability to change its shape and focus easily. This causes progressive worsening of the eye’s ability to focus on near distance objects.

Presbyopia affects productivity

While long distance vision impairment is often talked about as a cause of lost productivity, near distance vision impairment due to presbyopia is often not given enough importance. Some people argue that since reading gets affected by presbyopia, people who are illiterate or involved in blue collar jobs may not feel the discomfort. However, this is a myth. Not just for reading or working on computers, near vision quality is also essential in a number of other jobs such as sewing and tailoring, weeding, repairing objects, and performing household chores like sorting grain or cooking.

Solutions to Manage Presbyopia

Reading Glasses: Reading glasses are often used by presbyopes. An ideal reading glass helps you so you do not have to stretch your arms while reading. However, reading glasses cant help you see in the far distance, and therefore either you have to peep over your glasses or remove them completely when looking at objects which are far away. Therefore, people using reading glasses have to keep two pair of glasses — one for reading; the other Far vision

Bifocal lenses: A 300 year old technology.Each bifocal lens is visibly divided – the top part of the lens provides clear distance vision, while a portion of the lens at the bottom provides clear near vision Because a bifocal has 2 lenses fused together hence wearers might experience a vision jump.. This is especially pertinent when climbing down stairs.

Progressive lenses: Progressive lenses are the best solution Progressive lenses such as Essilor’s Varilux are a modern solution for correction of Presbyopia. They are easy to manage and enable a smooth and seamless transition between different distances. They remove the ‘image jump’ or jerk factor common in bifocals and offer a clear ability to read a book, view your computer, see clearly across the room

Authored by Mr. Ramachandran P, Group COO, Essilor India