Easing the Effects of Age-Related Presbyopia
A significant majority of people over age 65 suffers from presbyopia. As we get older, certain structures in our eye stiffen, leaving many unable to focus on distant objects. At our offices in Leesburg, FL, Clermont, FL, and Eustis, FL, Drs. Jeffrey Sheridan and Craig Fishman at Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Associates provide a full selection of stylish designer frames, contact lenses, and intraocular lenses to treat age-related farsightedness.
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a natural result of aging and occurs as the lenses inside your eyes lose flexibility. Normally, these lenses adjust in order to refract light at different distances. But once they become less flexible, our lenses often overshoot and focus light behind instead of directly onto the retina. Consequently, objects at a close distance appear blurry. In fact, the first sign of presbyopia for many patients is a need to hold reading material out at an arm's distance. As the condition worsens, you may suffer from eyestrain and headaches, particularly from close-up work.
Although the specifics depend on the patient, most patients can typically anticipate changes to their eyesight from their mid-40s to their mid-60s. Presbyopia can occur on its own, but it often appears in conjunction with other refractive errors, such as myopia.
Because presbyopia is so common and causes such obvious symptoms, it is usually easy to diagnose. Dr. Fishman or Dr. Sheridan usually conduct a complete dilated eye exam, which includes both a visual acuity test and eye dilation. During the former, the doctor will ask you to read an eye chart to determine the distances at which you best see. During the latter, the doctor will treat your eyes with special drops to trigger dilation so that he can examine the inside of your eyes.
Glasses are the most common treatment option for presbyopia. If you do not suffer from any other refractive errors, you will typically only need reading glasses for close-up work or when using the computer. If you are diagnosed with a secondary refractive error, though, you may need bifocals or trifocals. These lenses have two or three distinct visual zones to correct your eyesight at varying distances.
If you already need to wear glasses to correct nearsightedness, contact lenses may be a more appropriate option for handling presbyopia. We offer many types of contacts, including rigid gas permeable lenses, soft lenses, and extended wear lenses. Our team can help you choose the right type and advise you on how to make the transition easier if you are a long-time glasses wearer.
Refractive surgery to achieve monovision is a less common but still viable option for treating presbyopia. During this treatment, your doctor will surgically place intraocular lenses (IOLs) inside your eyes, just behind your natural lenses. One IOL improves your distance vision while the other enhances your near vision. Your brain can then adjust to make up the difference between the two. However, transitioning to monovision can be difficult for some patients. Consequently, Dr. Fishman and Dr. Sheridan will usually have you try out monovision with removable contacts before you commit to surgery.
Sharpen Your Vision Once More
With our outstanding care, you can enjoy the sharp eyesight of your youth. Contact us online to book a consultation. You can also call us at (352) 360-2301 (Leesburg), (352) 775-0235 (Clermont), or (352) 775-0528 (Eustis).