Learn About Presbyopia

What is the definition of Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus. This makes it hard to see objects up close.

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What are the causes of Presbyopia?

The lens of the eye needs to change shape to focus on objects that are close. The ability of the lens to change shape is because of the elasticity of the lens. This elasticity decreases slowly as people age. The result is a slow loss in the ability of the eye to focus on nearby objects.

People most often begin to notice the condition at around age 45, when they realize that they need to hold reading materials farther away in order to focus on them. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process and it affects everyone.

What are the symptoms of Presbyopia?

Symptoms include:

  • Decreased focusing ability for near objects
  • Eyestrain
  • Headache
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What are the current treatments for Presbyopia?

There is no cure for presbyopia. In early presbyopia, you may find that holding reading materials farther away or using larger print or more light for reading may be enough. As presbyopia worsens, you will need glasses or contact lenses to read. In some cases, adding bifocals to an existing lens prescription is the best solution. The reading glasses or bifocal prescription will need to be strengthened as you get older and lose more ability to focus up close.

By the age of 65, most of the lens elasticity is lost so that the reading glasses prescription won't continue to get stronger.

People who do not need glasses for distance vision may only need half glasses or reading glasses.

People who are nearsighted may be able to take off their distance glasses to read.

With the use of contact lenses, some people choose to correct one eye for near vision and one eye for far vision. This is called "monovision." The technique eliminates the need for bifocals or reading glasses, but it can affect depth perception.

Sometimes, monovision can be produced through laser vision correction. There are also bifocal contact lenses that can correct for both near and far vision in both eyes.

New surgical procedures are being evaluated that can also provide solutions for people who do not want to wear glasses or contacts for reading. Research is ongoing.

There are two new classes of eye drops being researched that may be able to help people with presbyopia.

  • One type makes the pupil smaller, which increases the depth of focus, similar to a pinhole camera.
  • The other type of drops works by softening the natural lens. The long-term effects of these drops are unknown.

People who are having cataract surgery can choose to have a special type of lens implant that allows them to see clearly in the distance and up close.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Presbyopia?

Vision can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

What are the possible complications of Presbyopia?

Vision difficulty that gets worse over time and is not corrected can cause problems with driving, lifestyle, or work.

When should I contact a medical professional for Presbyopia?

Contact your provider or ophthalmologist if you have eye strain or have trouble focusing on close objects.

How do I prevent Presbyopia?

There is no proven prevention for presbyopia.

Presbyopia
What are the latest Presbyopia Clinical Trials?
A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Visual Function After Bilateral Implantation of Two Novel Extended Depth-of-Focus Intraocular Lenses
Summary: Since intermediate vision is becoming increasingly important in our day-to-day tasks, a new IOL was introduced (Acunex Vario) with this objective in mind. This IOL provides excellent vision at far and intermediate distances up to 60 cm and with negligible photopic disturbances compared to conventional multifocal lenses. The Alcon AcrySof IQ Vivity IOL is designed to provide continuous vision from ...
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A First-in-Human, Phase 1/2, Dose-ascending, Multicenter, Masked, Randomized, Vehicle-controlled Study Evaluating the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of AGN-241622 in Healthy Participants and Participants With Presbyopia (Stage 1 and Stage 2) and Efficacy in Participants With Presbyopia (Stage 2)
Summary: The objective of this study is to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of AGN-241622 ophthalmic solution for the first time in human participants
What are the Latest Advances for Presbyopia?
Visual performance, safety and patient satisfaction after bilateral implantation of a trifocal intraocular lens in presbyopic patients without cataract.
Summary: Visual performance, safety and patient satisfaction after bilateral implantation of a trifocal intraocular lens in presbyopic patients without cataract.
Large Population Outcomes of Small Incision Lenticule Extraction in Young Myopic Patients.
Summary: Large Population Outcomes of Small Incision Lenticule Extraction in Young Myopic Patients.
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Visual and Refractive Outcomes Following Laser Blended Vision With Non-linear Aspheric Micro-anisometropia (PRESBYOND) in Myopic and Hyperopic Patients.
Summary: Visual and Refractive Outcomes Following Laser Blended Vision With Non-linear Aspheric Micro-anisometropia (PRESBYOND) in Myopic and Hyperopic Patients.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: February 17, 2022
Published By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Could eyedrops replace reading glasses? www.aao.org/eye-health/news/could-eyedrops-replace-glasses-presbyopia. Updated January 6, 2022. Accessed June 8, 2022.

Crouch ER, Crouch ER, Grant TR. Ophthalmology. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 17.

Donahue SP, Longmuir RA. Presbyopia and loss of accommodation. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 9.21.

Fragoso VV, Alio JL. Surgical correction of presbyopia. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 3.10.

Reilly CD. Decision- making in refractive surgery. In: Mannis MJ, Holland EJ, eds. Cornea. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 172.