In order to focus light from close objects onto the retina the crystalline lens changes its shape, a process called accommodation. For younger eyes the crystalline lens is still soft and changes shape easily to focus at different distances. The older we get the more rigid the lens becomes making focusing at near progressively more difficult. This reduction in accommodation is known as Presbyopia, but don’t worry! It is a perfectly natural part of ageing.
We usually start to notice Presbyopia at around the age of 40, especially when reading in low light conditions becomes more difficult. We can also find when moving from distance to reading tasks it can take the eyes longer to refocus than it did before.
Spectacles can be prescribed to supplement the reduced focusing power of the eye. These can vary in power depending on the reading distance required. For example, a different strength lens would be needed for computer work than for reading a book.
There are several spectacle lens options available to help with near tasks. Some patients opt for single vision glasses purely for reading and close work. While these will give fantastic vision for their intended use, they would have to be removed when walking, driving or for any other task further than arms length.
Others find the constant removal frustrating and instead opt for a multifocal lens. This can be a traditional Bifocal, usually prescribed for distance and reading vision, or a Varifocal which incorporates intermediate correction too.
There are also multifocal contact lens options available to those who would like an alternative to spectacles.
Our Optometrists will talk to you about your lifestyle and hobbies which will be taken into account when your reading addition is prescribed.
Are you starting to struggling with close work? Book your appointment today.