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 F.A.Q.s: More About Presbyopia

Q. What causes presbyopia?

The eye stops growing at about the age of 20. The lens, however, continues to grow and produce more and more cells. Eventually the lens loses some of its elasticity and therefore loses some focusing ability. If we live long enough we eventually lose all lens elasticity, the lens becomes cloudy and we have cataracts.

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At what age does presbyopia occur?

A. It varies from person to person. Although presbyopia may seem to appear suddenly, the actual loss of elasticity takes place over the course of many years. Presbyopia usually becomes apparent, however, to people in their early to mid-fourties.

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Q. What are the signs of presbyopia?

A. Some signs of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at arms length, blurred vision at normal reading distance, and eye fatigue along with headaches when attempting to do close work.

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Q. Can presbyopia be prevented?

A. Unfortunately not. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process.

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Q. How is presbyopia treated

A. To compensate for presbyopia, doctors of optometry prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, progresive or invisible multi-focal lenses (power changes gradually as you look down at your reading material) or contact lenses. Since presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, your optometrist will conduct other tests to determine the specific lenses that will allow you to see clearly. The optometrist will also ask you questions about your physical health, your hobbies, your job requirements, etc. This information will also aid in determining what type of lenses to recommend.

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X-tra Questions About Presbyopia...

Q. Will I have to wear glasses all the time?

A. This will depend on a number of factors, including any other vision conditions you may have. You may only need your glasses for reading, sewing, and other close work. you may find, however, that wearing your glasses all of the time is more beneficial and convenient for your vision needs. Because of the thinning ozone layer and increased exposure to ultra-violet radiation, a UV filter is always recomended, at any age

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Q. Can I still wear contact lenses?

A. Great strides are being made in the area of contact lenses. New technology is making it possible for many vision conditions, including presbyopia, to be corrected with contact lenses. Your doctor of can help you decide what is right for you.

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Q. Why are frequent lens changes necessary after 40?

A. The effects of presbyopia constantly change the ability of the crystalline lens to focus properly. As a result, periodic changes in your eyewear are necessary to maintain correct vision. These changes will slow as you grow older and will probably stop when you reach your sixties.

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Q. How will presbyopia affect my lifestyle?

A. After adjusting to your new eyewear, you should find that you can still do all of the things you did before. Presbyopia will probably not have a significant effect on your lifestyle at all.

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