Dinner menus, smartphones and computer screens are all things you encounter daily. But have you noticed that since turning 40, you’re having issues seeing them clearly? If you’ve found yourself holding the menu at arm’s distance, increasing your phone’s font size to read text messages, or taking more frequent breaks from the computer screen during the work day, you might be among millions of people with presbyopia.
Now, you may say presby-what? It’s a complicated name for a common eye condition that means you have trouble focusing on things up-close. This condition is a natural part of ageing and is much more common than you think — if you look around, you’ll likely notice it’s also happening to lots of your friends and family members.
Like many people, you may not completely understand what’s happening with your vision at this age, but rest assured there’s help. Dr Susan Resnick, a New York-based optometrist, shares some information that can help you bring your eyesight back into focus after 40.
“For many, your vision might be the first thing to change once you reach 40,” said Resnick. “I often see patients who come into my practice in a panic because they notice they suddenly can’t read their phone or a book. Even if a patient has never had a vision issue before or if your vision has worsened in a short amount of time, presbyopia is a normal part of ageing. There are options that can correct your vision and help you see clearly near and far.”
If you have presbyopia, you are not alone
Millions struggle to read or see up close after the age of 40, which is when presbyopia typically strikes. The bad news is that you can’t prevent presbyopia. The good news — you don’t have to accept blurry up-close vision or reading glasses as a fact of life.
Advancements in eye care can provide solutions that fit your lifestyle, including contact lenses, which can help you see seamlessly and clearly, up close and far away.
You should read up on readers
Like most people, you might think the only option to address presbyopia is purchasing cheap reading glasses from the drugstore. However, while readers can be great in a pinch, they can also be cumbersome as a long-term solution to presbyopia. They often get lost, can break and are inconvenient to constantly put on and take off as you switch from seeing up close and looking further away. What’s more annoying than having to wear your readers on a chain around your neck, or getting them stuck in your hair as you flip them on top of your head?
Also, many people believe wearing readers can even make you feel older. In fact, a survey of people in their 40s and early 50s found that one-in-four adults think reading glasses can make someone look 10 years older. And, nearly 50 per cent of those surveyed would avoid wearing readers if they knew it made them look older.
Find freedom with contact lenses
Whether taking selfies, going to a restaurant or whipping up a recipe in the kitchen, multifocal contact lenses can free you from putting on and taking off your reading glasses, and give you the flexibility to see clearly at any distance.
“I usually recommend multifocal contact lenses, including contact lenses, to my patients with presbyopia because they are designed to help you comfortably and seamlessly see near, far and everywhere in between. Most importantly, these contact lenses give you the freedom to lose your reading glasses,” explains Resnick.
The takeaway here? When it comes to seeing clearly up close, don’t be tethered to readers or let presbyopia make you give up on your fun and the activities you love.