Have you ever wondered why when you show somebody something in a book, or on your phone, they take the screen and recoil their head while extending their hand far out ahead of them? As if you handed them a smelly sock. Or, more importantly, have you ever been the person extending your arm far out just to see what it says on the screen? Well then this article is just for you.If you are more than 40 years of age, then most likely you have what is known as presbyopia.
What is presbyopia?
What is presbyopia you may wonder? According to mayo clinic: “Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects.” This would make a lot of sense considering the way people who have presbyopia naturally react to any objects nearby. The loss isn’t always severe and can range from being a mild case where objects just appear a little blurry, to more severe cases, where you can hardly make out the shape of the object in front of you.
There are multiple causes of presbyopia. The first one is something none of us can escape – aging. As we age our muscles atrophy and our bones grow less dense. This type of degeneration also holds true for the lenses in our eyes. Younger people have lenses that are more flexible and elastic. Small muscles around the eyes help bend the lenses in order to allow the correct amount of light into our eyes, allowing us to see. When we age, the natural lens in our eye becomes more stiff and loses flexibility. Combined with these tiny muscles deteriorating over time, the eye starts to lose its ability to correctly adjust, causing blurry vision.
An important question is how do we know we might suffer from presbyopia? Several symptoms might indicate that you may be suffering from presbyopia. In most cases presbyopia will start to occur around your forties. So the older you are past forty, the more likely you are to have it. If you start holding objects far away in order to read them, you might want to see a doctor. Even blurred vision at a normal reading distance could be an early indicator that you have presbyopia. Another tell-tale sign of presbyopia is headaches or eye strain after reading.
See a doctor
If you check one or multiple of these boxes, it is generally advised to see an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists can do a same day test to determine the presence of presbyopia and then recommend treatment options accordingly. According to sciencedirect, presbyopia prevalence increases to over 80% after forty-five.
Cataracts and cataract symptoms
On the other hand, we have cataracts. Cataracts is the clouding of your eye lens. It might be like looking through a cloudy pair of glasses. Cataracts might not be a problem at first, but with time they progress and almost always end up needing treatment. Cataracts are also brought on by aging and are common amongst people over sixties. Cataract surgeries are very common and generally super safe and effective.
- Colors appear more yellow
- Sensitivity to light
- You might see halos around objects
- Blurry or clouded vision
- Double vision
- Inability to see clearly at night
As is the case with presbyopia, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you experience any of the above symptoms. In our next article we will be discussing suitable candidates for cataracts and a conservative approach to treatment.