Presbyopia - Topic Overview
How is it treated?
Presbyopia can usually be
corrected with glasses or contact lenses. If you didn't need glasses or
contacts before presbyopia appeared, you can probably correct your eyesight by
using reading glasses for close work. Glasses you buy without a prescription
may be sufficient. But check with your eye doctor to find out the right
glasses for you. If you do buy glasses without a prescription, try out a few
different pairs of varying strength (magnification) to make sure you get
glasses that will help you read without straining.
already use glasses or contacts to correct
astigmatism, you'll need a new prescription that will
also correct presbyopia. You may wish to use bifocals, in which distant vision
is corrected at eye level and close vision is corrected at the bottom. Other
options include trifocal glasses, which can correct for distant, near, and
middle vision; progressive lenses, which give a smooth transition between
distant, middle, and near vision; bifocal contact lenses; or monovision contact
lenses, which correct distant vision in your dominant eye and close vision in
your weaker eye. Your prescription may have to be changed over time as
presbyopia gets worse.
If you don't want to wear glasses or
contacts, surgery may be an option. Procedures that can help treat presbyopia include laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and
photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Both of these surgeries use lasers to
cornea of your eye. Laser surgery cannot give you both
distance and near vision in the same eye. But your doctor can correct one eye
for distance vision and the other eye for near vision.
surgery option is clear lens extraction with an intraocular lens implant, in which the
natural lens is removed and an artificial one is implanted to replace it.
Some lens implants correct either
distance or near vision. Others (called multifocal implants) correct
both near and distance vision.
None of these surgeries will restore
perfect vision—you will have to compromise. For example, you may have surgery
to correct distance vision and then use reading glasses for near vision. Or you
may have one eye adjusted for near vision and one for distance vision, which
would reduce your depth perception. New procedures that reverse presbyopia are
being developed and tested.