Presbyopia Treatment Options
Have you passed the reading glasses at your pharmacy and wondered if it’s time to get a pair? Presbyopia is an age-related change that affects the natural lenses in your eyes, making close-up things look blurry. This natural change happens gradually, but it will progress as you age, making activities like reading or texting more difficult. Fortunately, this condition can be treated with excellent results.
What is Presbyopia?
Light enters your eye through a clear, disc-shaped lens at the front of your eye. This lens changes the focal point of light as it passes through in order to bring light into focus on the retina and create a clear image. Younger people have very flexible lenses that can easily change shape to accommodate different distances of focus. Think of your natural lens as the zoom function on your eye camera.
Presbyopia occurs when your natural lenses stiffen and lose their flexibility. They can no longer change shape enough to produce a clear image when you are trying to read or do other close-up tasks. As you age, you slowly lose the amount of zoom you have, making it more difficult to see closer objects. These changes are gradual but not reversible, and they affect almost everyone over the age of 45.
Presbyopia Treatment Options
You have several options for treating presbyopia. Only an eye exam and assessment by an eye doctor can determine which options will work best for you.
Why Don’t Reading Glasses Work Well?
Whether store-bought or prescription, reading glasses are often the first thing people try for presbyopia. However, corrective lenses have several downsides, including keeping them with you when you need to read something. They can also cause eye strain and headaches, especially if they are not the correct prescription for your working distance. Many people find them inconvenient and frustrating.
What is lens replacement surgery?
A lens replacement surgery (also called refractive lens exchange) involves a surgeon removing your natural inflexible lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL) that has built-in prescription for distance and near (much like a pair of progressive glasses). These new lenses will not get cloudy, so you do not need additional cataracts in the future. Lens replacement surgery will give you permanent vision correction at distance and near. There are many different types of intraocular lens implants. Only a consultation with a refractive surgeon can determine which type of IOL best meets your eye health and unique lifestyle needs.
What is Monovision LASIK?
Most people have heard of LASIK. Standard LASIK does not treat presbyopia. Your laser eye surgery specialist can modify the treatment for monovision LASIK in order to correct presbyopia. Instead of correcting both eyes for distance, monovision LASIK works by setting one eye for distance and the other eye for close-up.
While having your two eyes focus at different distances may sound difficult, most people can adjust easily. LASIK reshapes your corneas to correct a certain prescription (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism), letting light focus properly even with your stiffened lenses. Many people choose this option due to its convenience and excellent results.
Request a Consultation
We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.
What is Recovery Like After Presbyopia Treatment?
Monovision LASIK requires very little recovery time. You may have some dryness and itchiness for the first day or two, and most people can return to work in one or two days. Lens replacement surgery also requires minimal downtime. You will be given eye drops to apply after surgery as directed by your surgeon to help your eyes heal. You should avoid swimming, contact sports, and dusty environments for 3-5 days.
Am I a Good Candidate for Presbyopia Treatment?
Most people with presbyopia can be treated with lens replacement surgery or monovision LASIK. Candidates should have healthy eyes and normal corneas. Those with abnormal corneas or a history of chronic dry eye may be better candidates for lens replacement surgery. Only a consultation and full assessment with a refractive surgeon can determine whether you are a good candidate for either procedure.
Take the Next Step
Want to know more about presbyopia treatment? Please fill out the form on this page or call (949) 694-0554 to schedule your appointment.
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