How does presbyopia occur?

Normally, when a person is trying to do near work (for instance threading a needle, reading a book, etc), the eyes accommodate. This simply means that a muscle in the eye (ciliary muscle) contracts, making the lens broader and shifting it forwards. However, as a person grows older, the lens becomes harder and less elastic, making it difficult for it to change its shape in order to focus on near objects. This is known as presbyopia and is a normal aging process.

How does prebyopia present?

A person with presbyopia is not able to see near objects as clearly as they used to, and may have to place such objects at arm's length to be able to have a clearer view.

Who can have presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a normal aging process. The likelihood of developing presbyopia increases with increasing age. It usually affects people aged 40 years and older.

People who are long-sighted may develop it earlier.

Short sighted people on the other hand,  may find that they can carry out near work easily just by taking off their glasses (for distance correction) when they need to do near work.

How can presbyopia be managed?

Presbyopia can be corrected with the aid of simple spectacles called readers. These come in different forms- bifocal lenses (in which the lower part of the prescribed spectacles is for presbyopic or near correction while the upper part is for distance correction), unifocal lenses, contact lenses, etc.