Don't Lose Focus
September is Healthy Aging Month as recognized by the American Academy of Ophthalmology! Coming up this month, we will be focusing on age-related eye conditions and how best to detect and treat them. Age-related conditions are very common, so don’t beat yourself up if you begin to notice signs of them! They are normal consequences of us using our eyes every day for so many years. With that being said, there are still many ways to make these conditions more manageable.
In this blog, we’ll focus on presbyopia, which is when the lens in the eye loses flexibility. This makes it harder to see things at a close distance. Everyone gets presbyopia as they age, with the first symptoms typically being noticed around age 45. Though it is a very normal part of aging, it can often be annoying and straining to deal with.
Typically the first signs of presbyopia include:
difficult seeing things up close
needing to hold things farther away in order to see them clearly
headaches after reading
eyestrain (sore, tired feeling eyes)
needing more light to see up close
While presbyopia cannot be reversed, there are several ways to manage the condition and correct your vision.
In beginning stages, presbyopia can easily be managed by holding reading materials farther away, increasing the size of the font you are reading, and turning up the lights when you read. As the condition progresses and these quick fixes no longer provide much support or relief, it is time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Glasses and contacts are a great option for presbyopia. There are many different types of lenses that can be personalized for your eyesight. Reading glasses can also help, but you should have your doctor perform an eye exam to determine the prescription that will be right for you. There are also some more permanent options such as surgery, but glasses or contacts may still be necessary after these procedures.
Recently, pharmaceutical companies have worked to develop eye drops to reduce the symptoms of presbyopia. While there is currently just one FDA approved eye drop for this, it is likely that more will be on the market soon. The current medication aims to reduce your pupil size to improve your depth of focus. There are still limitations and risks associated with this eye drop so be sure to discuss this with your doctor at your next eye exam.
The moral of the story is age-related eye conditions are common and normal! You don’t need to suffer alone and strain your eyes. Though adjusting to wearing glasses or contacts may be a struggle at first, it is ultimately the best option for your eye health and your overall wellness! Make an appointment today if you are beginning to notice your eyesight worsen. We are here to help!