Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Presbyopia (which literally means "aging eye") is an age-related eye condition that makes it more difficult to see very close. Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult for you to focus on close objects.
Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It is not a disease, and it cannot be prevented.
Some signs of Presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at arm's length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for presbyopia.
To help you compensate for presbyopia, your optometrist can prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals or contact lenses. Because presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, your optometrist will determine the specific lenses to allow you to see clearly and comfortably. You may only need to wear your glasses for close work like reading, but you may find that wearing them all the time is more convenient and beneficial for your vision needs.
Some of the signs and symptoms of presbyopia include eyestrain, headaches or feeling tired from doing up-close work. One of the most obvious signs of presbyopia is the need to hold reading materials at arm's length in order to focus properly.
It is generally believed that as we age, changes in the lens's proteins make the lens more rigid and less flexible over time. Also, muscles surrounding the lens may lose their elasticity. As the lens becomes less flexible and able to change shape as easily as it used to, the eye has a harder time focusing on close objects. This is why people over age 40 often find themselves holding reading material farther away to be able to see it clearly.
Your eye doctor can diagnose presbyopia as part of a comprehensive eye examination. In addition to checking for other eye problems, he or she will determine your degree of presbyopia by using a standard vision test.
In the visual system, images captured by the eye are translated into electric signals that are transmitted to the brain where they are interpreted. As such, in order to overcome presbyopia, two main components of the visual system can be addressed: 1) the optical system of the eye or 2) the visual processing of the brain.
1. Image capturing in the eye Solutions for presbyopia have advanced significantly in recent years, thanks to widened availability of optometry care as well as over-the-counter vision correction.
2. Image processing in the brain scientific solutions for overcoming the symptoms of presbyopia were developed in recent years and tested successfully in multiple studies. These solutions are available thanks to significant progress in the understanding of the human brain plasticity and the field of perceptual learning.
There are surgical options to treat presbyopia. One is called conductive keratoplasty or CK. With this procedure, radio waves are used to create more curvature in the cornea and improve near vision. CK can treat presbyopia effectively, but the correction is temporary and diminishes over time.
LASIK can be used to create monovision, in which one eye is corrected for near vision while the other eye is set for distance vision. Another LASIK procedure — which is undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. — is presbyLASIK. This procedure uses an Excimer laser to sculpt multifocal zones directly on the cornea, enabling vision at multiple distances.
Also, there is a procedure known as refractive lens exchange (RFE). This refractive surgery technique replaces your eye's rigid natural lens with an artificial lens that corrects presbyopia symptoms, providing multifocal vision.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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