Presbyopia is loss of the lens’ ability to change shape to focus on near objects due to aging. Usually, presbyopia becomes noticeable by the time a person reaches the early or mid-forties. A convex lens can be used for correction when viewing near objects.
The following symptoms can point to presbyopia:
- Blurred vision at normal reading distance
- Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close-up work
In the normally refracted (emmetropic) eye, entering light rays are focused on the retina by the cornea and the lens, creating a sharp image that is transmitted to the brain. During accommodation, the ciliary muscles adjust lens shape to properly focus images. Presbyopia is caused by a hardening of the lens, resulting in refractive error are failure of the eye to focus images sharply on the retina.
The goal of treatment is to compensate for the inability of your eyes to focus on nearby objects. Treatment options include wearing corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses, as well as undergoing refractive lens exchange. During this operation, the native lens, which has lost its elasticity, is replaced by an artificial intraocular lens.
Refractive lens exchange is the best surgical option for correcting presbyopia, as it focuses on the main reason of the disease development and prevents formation of the cataract in the future.
Lens replacement surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and usually takes about 15 minutes. Numbing anesthetic drops are used during refractive lens exchange, so typically there is no discomfort, and most people report immediate vision improvement after surgery. Initial recovery from refractive lens exchange — when you can resume normal everyday activities — usually takes about a week.