Symptoms and Causes
Do you need reading glasses? Chances are you have presbyopia (senile farsightedness), an eye refractive abnormality in which a person cannot see small print or small objects at a close distance. Like gray hair and wrinkles, presbyopia is one of the age-related symptoms of the natural aging mechanism. The early symptoms of presbyopia eyes are on average seen in a person in their 40s and 45s. It is during this period that he or she begins to experience the first difficulties in handling small objects or reading.
The term “presbyopia” comes from the Greek word πρέσβυς meaning “old man” or “old man” and the New Latin suffix “-opia” meaning “myopia”, and the literal translation would be “old eyes”.
While the exact cause of presbyopia is still the subject of research, it is the accepted theory that the muscle fibers around the eye’s natural lens thicken and lose elasticity, which reduces the eye’s ability to reshape the lens. As the eye’s natural lens becomes less flexible, the eye has less and less ability to focus on close objects. Trauma, lifestyle, and occupation, such as sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, can also play a role in the development of this condition.
Presbyopia is sometimes informally called “the disease of the long arms,” because for a while it is possible to compensate for presbyopia by placing an object at arm’s length. But when this method no longer works, we have to think about the correction of presbyopia with the methods available in modern medicine.
If you do not want to wear glasses or contact lenses for one reason or another, then surgical treatment can help. Surgical treatments for presbyopia include LASIK (laser-assisted keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).
Both of these methods use a laser to reshape the cornea. Laser correction cannot give the same eye the same near and far vision. But a doctor can perform correction in one eye for far vision and in the other for near vision (monocular vision).
Another surgical method for presbyopia treatment is the replacement of the natural lens with an artificial lens (intraocular lens). The artificial lens can be either a simple or a multifocal lens. Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are usually implanted when cataracts are removed, and some IOLs are designed to treat cataracts and presbyopia simultaneously.