Ever wonder why even people who never needed glasses have a hard time seeing things up close when they reach middle age? Because as you age, the lens of your eye grows more rigid, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. The clinical term for this is presbyopia.
To prevent having to strain their eyes, people with undiagnosed presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. In addition to reading, performing other close-range activities, like embroidery or writing, may also cause eyestrain and discomfort. For sufferers who want to deal with presbyopia, you have several solutions available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.
Reading glasses are only useful for those who wear contacts or for people who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. Even though these are easy to find at pharmacies or drugstores, it is not recommended to buy a pair until you've seen the results of a proper eye examination. This is because reading glasses may help for brief periods of time but they can cause eyestrain when people wear them for a long time.
If you already wear glasses, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are quite popular. These are glasses with multiple points of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription to help you focus on things right in front of you. If you already wear contacts, it's best to talk to your eye care professional to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique called monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.
Due to the fact that your vision continues to change as you grow older, it's fair to anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. Presbyopia still affects people even after refractive surgery, so it is it's worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.
It's best to speak to your eye doctor for an informed perspective. Presbyopia is a part of middle age, but the choices you make regarding how to handle it is in your hands.