Presbyopia is an inevitable condition in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time. Since it is a natural effect of aging, it is extremely commonplace.

In recent years, an estimated four million new cases of presbyopia have been diagnosed. Today’s “baby boomer” generation is the most rapidly growing population segment requiring vision correction.

Symptoms: Headaches, blurred near-distance vision, tearing, stinging, or a need for more light. People with presbyopia often hold reading material at arm’s length.

Treatment: Reading glasses (typically bifocals) or special contact lenses are useful treatments, although the period of adjustment can vary widely. All told, there is a wide range of corrective options to review with your Optometrist.

Prevention: There is no recognized prevention available, although focusing difficulties can be relieved with corrective lenses.

Further questions: For such a common condition, there are many misconceptions about presbyopia. For example, it does not affect a person’s lifestyle, but presbyopia can require frequent prescription changes after age 40.

All content is provided for education and information, and is no substitute for the advice of your optometrist. This information is provided courtesy of the British Columbia Association of Optometrists (B.C.A.O.). The B.C.A.O. assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any errors or omissions or from the use of any information contained herein.