What is presbyopia?


"Presbyopia is a condition of the eyes whereby the eye lose their ability to focus on close objects. It is a normal change in function, not a disease. Everybody gets it, whether they are myopic, hyperopic, astigmatic or perfectly sighted for distance vision."
"To understand presbyopia, it is important to understand how your eyes change their focus for viewing close objects. Normally they are focused for distance vision. Inside the eye there is a lens about the size of a pea. To focus on close objects, a special muscle in the eye changes the shape of the lens. This process is called accommodation."
"With age the lens loses its flexibility and is less able to change its shape. This is a completely normal ageing change, just like stiffening joints or greying hair. The loss in lens flexibility is the reason that close focusing becomes more difficult. The muscle responsible for the process does not weaken significantly. This is important to know as it means that eye exercises will not significantly help or cure the problem."
"The effects of presbyopia usually occur from about the ages of 40 - 45. However, the process starts from a very age - it is a slow downhill slide from about the age of 10! A ten year old can focus as close as 6 centimetres from the eye. A twenty year old can only focus to 10 centimetres, and a 30 year old to about 15 centimetres! A fifty year old has to put the newspaper on the ground and stand up to see it clearly without reading glasses!"


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