Progressive Lenses: Making Presbyopia A Thing Of The Past
Research and Innovations Speaking to your optometrist about finding the right progressive lenses is an important first step in the battle against presbyopia.
Presbyopia is characterized by the gradual loss of the eyes’ ability to focus on objects that are up-close. The condition is not considered a visual defect, but a natural change in vision that affects everyone with aging. The onset of presbyopia is usually felt around the age of 40 and continues to worsen until around the age of 65.
A life changing condition
People often become aware that they are affected by presbyopia when they are forced to hold books, newspapers and tablets at arm’s length in order to read them clearly. “People usually experience intermittent blurred vision. One day it’s fine and the next it’s worse,” says Dr. Thomas Noël, President at McLeod Optometry Clinic in Ottawa. “It’s usually worse at nights and at the end of a day of work.”
Those affected tend to read less and their attention span for close-up work is reduced. In some cases, people will experience headaches or brow ache when muscles around the eye are forced to work extra hard. Regular daily activities can go from being a pleasure to a pain. “It really can decrease quality of life,” says Dr. Noël. “It can also lead to poor productivity at work.”
What causes presbyopia?
Presbyopia occurs when the eyes’ crystalline lens loses its elasticity and, with that, its ability to change shape and focus. “All people develop presbyopia with age, regardless of race or gender,” says Dr. Noël. “People that are near-sighted usually become presbyopic later in life, while far-sighted people are usually the first group to experience symptoms.”
"All people develop presbyopia with age, regardless of race or gender. People that are near-sighted usually become presbyopic later in life, while far-sighted people are usually the first group to experience symptoms.”
People who suffer with diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cardiovascular complications are at an increased risk of experiencing premature presbyopia. Certain medications are also linked to early onset. “Also, a history of accommodative esotropia can increase chances of developing it earlier than normal,” says Dr. Noël. “And, if you read for extended periods each day, you’ll probably experience presbyopia sooner than somebody who doesn’t read as much.”
If you think that you may be experiencing symptoms of presbyopia, book an appointment with your optometrist today. A complete eye exam can either confirm or rule-out the condition. Once diagnosed, you can start to combat the condition and go back to seeing the world — and enjoying life — like you used to. “The best treatment available is progressive, multi-focal lenses.
They treat presbyopia with 100 percent efficacy,” Dr. Noël says. “Progressive lenses also permit you to have good vision at distances and close-up, simultaneously.”
There are so many variations of progressive lenses, so to achieve the best possible results it is important to book a consultation with your optometrist. “Your eye doctor will help you to select the correct progressive lenses that suit your specific visual needs,” says Dr. Noël. “Also, they need to be fitted precisely for each patient to get good results.
If the measurement is off by 2mm it can create poor vision and dizziness.” In Ontario, only licensed optometrists, opticians or physicians are legally authorized to dispense eyeglasses, including progressive lenses.
After a good consultation and fitting of your progressive lenses, you can take them home and call presbyopia a thing of the past.