Can You Read This?

16 Apr 2014

Presbyopia is the inevitable ageing of the eye that affects everybody, regardless of whether they have had laser eye surgery or not.


It sneaks up gradually after the age of 40, and many people don’t even notice it until after age 45. Optilase Eye Clinics see patients with presbyopia daily, as many people seek an alternative to the reading glasses they must wear to see print.


Presbyopia affects your ability to read things close-up, as your eye has trouble accommodating (shifting focus appropriately).

The most obvious symptoms are as follows:

  • A tendency to hold reading material farther away to make the letters clearer
  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance
  • Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close work
  • You may notice these symptoms are worse if you're tired, have had alcohol or are in an area with dim lighting.

When to see an Optometrist

As soon as you notice that you’re having trouble reading or doing ‘close’ work. Blurry vision whilst trying to read is the most obvious sign, and most people find themselves holding newspapers; mobile phones or jars away from their eye so they can better focus on the print.


Presbyopia is not connected to any other type of refractive error, such as long or short-sightedness, so if you already wear corrective eyewear like glasses or contact lenses to combat a refractive error, it won’t help with presbyopia. Nor will previous laser eye surgery for a refractive error.

Even eyes get old and stiff

Presbyopia is simply caused by a hardening of the lens of your eye; and it’s a natural part of the ageing process. As we get older, the crystalline lens of the eye becomes less flexible and can’t change shape in order to focus on close-up images. As a result, these images appear out of focus.


To form an image, your eye relies on the cornea and the lens to focus the light reflected from objects. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye. The lens is a clear structure about the size and shape of a Smartie. Both of these structures bend (refract) light entering your eye to focus the image on the retina, located on the inside back wall of your eye.


The lens, unlike the cornea, is flexible changes shape with the help of a circular muscle that surrounds it. When you look at something at a distance, the circular muscle relaxes. When you look at something nearby, the muscle constricts, allowing the relatively elastic lens to curve more steeply and change its focusing power.


When the lens starts to get stiff as part of the ageing process, we find ourselves with presbyopia.  People have to get reading glasses to allow them to see close-up – the problem is that for those with otherwise good vision, wearing glasses every time they need to see print is not a desirable option.

Two Solutions to Presbyopia at Optilase

Also, if you rely on corrective lens or have had surgery to enable you to see far away, you may need another set of glasses to see close up.


Optilase have the ideal solution to presbyopia – in fact they offer two procedures; KAMRA and Presbia.


Both are corneal inlays; little plastic discs that sit on top of the lens in one eye, and eliminate the need for reading glasses.


To find out more, call Optilase on +353 1 223 8821 or fill out our contact form.

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