After turning 40, your vision may start to change. In particular, you may have a hard time seeing nearby objects clearly, which is a sign of presbyopia. Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, your trusted provider of LASIK eye surgery co-management and other eye care treatments, discusses this problem in detail.
Presbyopia is a refractive error that occurs as you grow older The lenses inside your eyes are naturally flexible. This quality allows them to easily change shape. They curve when you’re looking at something up close and flatten when you’re viewing something far from you. The lenses and their supporting fibers gradually thicken and harden over time, making them less elastic. As a result, your eyes may struggle focusing on objects within your field of vision, especially when they are near you.
Presbyopia is marked by a difficulty seeing things within your visual field, especially those near you. Your optometrist explains this is why adults aged 40 and older usually prefer holding their books, newspapers or other reading materials roughly an arm’s length away from them. However, moving things farther from you only makes the print and details smaller, which means you may still have a hard time seeing them. This may also lead to frequent headaches and eye strain. You may avoid doing close work as well.
Difference From Hyperopia
Hyperopia, also referred to as farsightedness, is another refractive error that results in problems viewing nearby things clearly. While its hallmark symptom is similar to that of presbyopia’s, the difference lies in the onset and affected structures. Hyperopia occurs when your eyeballs are shorter than the ideal while presbyopia happens when your lenses lose their flexibility. The former is often detected during childhood while the latter is a consequence of increasing age.
Your eye care specialist may prescribe eyeglasses with multiple prescriptions for your improved visual acuity. Progressive lenses both have multiple prescriptions in a single lens, allowing you to see far, nearby, and in-between figures clearly. Progressive lenses, however, don’t have a visible line, preventing the magnified or “bug eye” look. Reading glasses may also work if you’re only having a hard time with close-range items.
For more information about presbyopia or other vision problems, call us at (703) 660-9494 in Alexandria or any other of our locations! You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Alexandria, Falls Church, Reston, and Arlington as well as the surrounding Northern Virginia area.