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Presbyopia is a condition where there is a gradual loss of the eyes' ability to focus on nearby objects. It is a natural part of aging. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid of 40s & continues to the worsen till around age 65. Presbyopia is usually confused with farsightedness, but these two are different. Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens in the eye loses its flexibility. Farsightedness or hypermetropia occurs because of a smaller than normal eyeball. You will be aware of presbyopia when you start holding the books & newspapers at arm's length to be able to read them. A basic eye exam can confirm presbyopia. You can rectify this condition by using eyeglasses or contact lenses.


Presbyopia develops progressively. You will notice these signs and symptoms after the age 40:

  • A tendency to hold the reading material farther away to make the letters visible and clear.
  • Vision is blurred at normal reading distance
  • Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close work

You will notice these symptoms are worse when you are tired or if you are working in an area with a dim light.

How it happens:

When you are young, the lens in the eye is flexible & relatively elastic. It can change its shape depending on whether you are viewing a distant or a near object, so that you are able to see both distant and near objects clearly. With increasing the age, your lens gradually loses its flexibility & stiffens. So, your lens becomes unable to change its shape. Due to this hardening of your lens, your eye gradually loses its ability to focus clearly on near objects.

How is it diagnosed?

Presbyopia is diagnosed by a basic eye exam . Your eye doctor may put some drops into your eyes to dilate your pupils. This will makes your eyes more light sensitive for some hours after the eye exam. Dilatation enables doctor to more easily examine the inside of your eyes.

Your doctor may also use different instruments, aim bright lights at your eyes & will ask you to look into many lenses to test your distance & near vision. Each test will allow your doctor to examine a different aspect of your vision. The goal of treatment is to compensate for the inability of the eyes to focus on near objects.

What can be done for this ?

Treatment options include wearing the corrective glasses, undergoing refractive surgery (monovision) or getting multifocal intraocular lens implants after removing your original lens.

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