What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a condition that diminishes the eye’s ability to focus on close-up objects. This usually occurs from about the age of 40 and is the most common form of near vision loss. Those who have presbyopia generally find that when they try to read or focus on small details their vision becomes blurry.

Presbyopia occurs when the lens of the eye hardens, causing the eye to focus light behind rather than on the retina when looking at close objects. It’s a type of refractive error, along with short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism, and can be easily diagnosed with an eye test.

Most people will develop presbyopia, even if they’ve never had a vision problem before. Even people who are short-sighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual glasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.

Fortunately, people with presbyopia who wish to wear contacts instead of bifocal glasses can opt to wear multifocal contact lenses.

What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

A typical symptom of presbyopia is difficulty reading fine text print, especially in low light conditions. You may also experience eye strain whilst reading text, or after reading for longer periods, as well as headaches and blurry vison when changing viewing distance.

How is presbyopia treated?

Multifocal contacts are the most common way of correcting presbyopia and long-sightedness. The lower part of the lens is designed to feature your corrective prescription, while the top half is clear, allowing you to easily view objects close-up by looking down, and see far away by looking up and straight ahead. While bifocal glasses were once the only way to achieve this, advanced contact lens technology means that you now have the option of wearing lenses.

Read our helpful guide on multifocal contact lenses to find out more about how they work, and the benefits of choosing them over bifocal glasses or the outdated, bifocal contact lenses.