Presbyopia Treatment: Which Option is Right for You?
Presbyopia is a natural part of aging. It happens when your eyes lose the ability to focus on nearby objects. Typically, this condition arises in people in their mid 40s. It may continue to get worse until around the age of 65, but there are effective options for presbyopia treatment.
Most individuals begin to notice this problem when they start to hold reading material farther away from their face, experience headaches or eye strains, or have blurred vision within normal reading distance.
Treatment involves correcting the problem, usually via the use of glasses or surgery. So, let’s explore the top five presbyopia treatment options to see which is right for you.
This is the most common presbyopia treatment. It’s simple, affordable and does not involve any invasive procedures. In fact, many individuals might find they can purchase over-the-counter reading glasses to alleviate the issue. Many of these non-prescription reading glasses have a power range between +1.00 diopter and +3.00 diopter.
If you choose to purchase your reading glasses over the counter, it is important to try them out in the store first and determine what power is right for you.
Alternatively, you may need prescription glasses, especially if you require a higher power. You may also need to purchase prescription glasses if you have other vision or eye issues, such as farsightedness or astigmatism.
If the idea of wearing glasses does not appeal to you, you may want to try contact lenses. However, if you have tear duct problems, an eyelid condition, or dry eyes, this might not be the best option for you.
For everyone else, contacts might provide an affordable and easy, go-to option. The two types of contacts that treat presbyopia include:
- Monovision contacts. These types of contacts help correct distance vision for one eye and close-up vision for the other eye. If you are new to these types of lenses, know that it may take time for your eyes and brain to adjust when you first wear them.
- Multifocal contacts. These types of lenses enable you to use both near and far vision at the same time. The contact lenses have different zones of differing powers. Your brain is able to select the right focus depending on what you are trying to see.
Contacts often require a prescription, depending on where you live. Thus, it is likely best to go through your eye doctor for this option.
3. Refractive Surgery
You may decide that you would rather undergo surgery to correct the problem rather than worrying about glasses or contact lenses. If so, refractive surgery is a common treatment used to reshape the cornea, improving close-up vision in your non-dominant eye. It’s similar to wearing monovision contact lenses, but you will not need to worry about putting in contacts.
So, how does this procedure work? Basically, the cornea is reshaped via the use of a laser. And yes, it is what people refer to when they talk about “laser eye surgery.” However, there are a few different types of refractive surgery, including:
- Conductive keratoplasty.
- Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK).
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
4. Lens Implants
Some individuals may be eligible for lens implants to help treat presbyopia. This procedure involves the removal of the lens of the eye. It is then replaced with a synthetic lens called intraocular lens.
As with other treatment options, there are various types of lenses that may be used, depending on your vision and other eye conditions. Some lenses may allow you to clearly see both near and far. Meanwhile, other lenses may still require the use of glasses.
It’s important to talk to your eye doctor and determine what option is suitable to you and your eye health. Lens implants can, unfortunately, come with various side effects, such as infection, glaucoma, bleeding and inflammation.
5. Corneal Inlays
Another presbyopia treatment is corneal inlays, which involves the insertion of a plastic ring into the cornea of one eye. Within this ring, there is an opening that helps focus light, allowing you to see nearby objects.
For this specific treatment method, it can be reversed. If you are not happy with the results, your surgeon can remove the rings, allowing you to try other treatment options.
Prevention is Always Key
While you cannot entirely prevent presbyopia, taking good care of your eyes goes a long way in saving your vision. Some other tips and tricks for maintaining optimal eye health include:
- Getting your eyes checked regularly.
- Wearing UV protection/sunglasses when outside in the sun.
- Wearing eye protection when performing certain activities, such as mowing the lawn or playing sports.
- Ensuring you consume a variety of nutrients in your diet.
- Adjusting the lighting for better vision to avoid eye strain.
- Managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, since these can impact your vision and eye health.
Before signing up for any treatment, make sure you check with your eye doctor and ensure it is right for you. Not every treatment is suitable for everyone. However, there are ways to overcome presbyopia, with little to no interference with your life.