Presbyopia: causes, symptoms and consequences

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a natural age-related process that develops from the age of 40. The crystalline lens loses its elasticity and its ability to focus on nearby objects. The presbyope has difficulty seeing closely due to the loss of its capacity for accommodation. This disorder causes discomfort to read a book or consult the phone, but vision from afar is not affected. These early symptoms can be accompanied by headaches and visual fatigue.

It is important to know that visual disorders prior to presbyopia (myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism) do not delay or accelerate the onset of presbyopia. This variation of close visual accommodation is inevitable and most often stabilizes around the age of 60.

This visual disorder, which affects 99% of the population over the age of 50, evolves physiologically and increases with age. It is therefore preferable to compensate for presbyopia at the first signs to preserve its visual comfort. There are several contact lens solutions to correct presbyopia, called multifocal lenses or progressive lenses, which act exactly like progressive glasses, to guarantee comfort both in the distant vision, as well as in the near vision, but also in the intermediate vision.

Just like hyperopia, presbyopia does not allow to have a clear vision up close. However, these two visual disorders are different: hyperopia is a visual defect appearing at birth whose vision from a distance can also be blurred, while presbyopia is a visual defect appearing from the quarantine that does not allow to see up close.


How to detect presbyopia ?

A presbyope is most often recognized in the way he/she moves objects away from his/her face or closer to the light in search of sharpness. Presbyopia causes discomfort especially when it comes to distinguishing the fine print or details of an image.

Presbyopia occurs later in myopia because in the eye of a myopic, the image is projected forward of the retina and this helps to compensate and thus delay the effects of presbyopia. While in hyperopia, the image is projected to the back of the retina, which accentuates the phenomenon. So, presbyopia can be premature.

Often young presbyopes delay the management of their visual deficit and get unnecessarily tired. As presbyopia evolves physiologically and increases with age, it is better to compensate it at the first signs to preserve its visual comfort.


What are the symptoms of presbyopia ?

The risk factor for presbyopia being age, this visual disorder is characterized by various symptoms such as:

  • difficulty reading small print (with the need to move the text away to better see or improve lighting),
  • headache,
  • tingling in the eyes,
  • visual fatigue.


Preventing presbyopia at the onset of symptoms

Since presbyopia is a consequence of the weakening of the crystalline lens due to age, it is difficult to prevent its manifestation. Therefore, from the age of 40 and the first symptoms mentioned above, it is recommended to consult a health professional to make a diagnosis and prescribe the most suitable visual solutions.

The development of presbyopia takes place relatively quickly over the years from the forties onwards, by an addition of +1.00 diopter on average per year, until reaching +3.00 of addition which is the maximum, and is observed around the age of 60.

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