What is presbyopia?

Posted on: 20 July 2018 by 50connect editorial

Presbyopia is blurred near vision and will affect everybody sooner or later as they age. Here's what you need to know about the condition and how it can be treated.


We all know the struggle. You’re trying to focus on your tablet, or your mobile phone, and it just isn’t happening. Several arm movements later, you’re up and looking for someone around the house who can just read it out to you.

It’s happens to everyone from the age of 45, even if you had no issues with your vision beforehand, or if you have always been near-sighted, you will notice that your vision will begin to blur when you are holding something up to read it.



1. long-sightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, occurring typically in middle and old age.

Research shows that an estimated 2.1 billion people across the world will have presbyopia by the year 2020 – a staggering statistic, and a confirmation that it is all too common.

What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

Presbyopia can often cause headaches, visual fatigue and eye strain if you don’t acknowledge it, and can also make normal tasks extremely uncomfortable. You will notice that reading your watch or the newspaper will become arduous, having to move them farther away to see more clearly.

Although it’s completely normal, it can really affect your life and your day to day routine. Having to carry reading glasses with you everywhere, just in case you’ve got to read a label in the supermarket, or even the score card at golf can be irritating, and nobody feels very comfortable wearing their spectacles on a string around their neck.

Presbyopia is believed to start from the loss of flexibility of the natural lens in your eye. As you age, the proteins within your lens begins to change, making the natural lens harder and less elastic over time. This also affects the muscle fibres around the lens, meaning the ability to focus on objects becomes more difficult.

Although varifocals are available to combat this problem, it often means you’ve got to deal with gaps in your vision when you go from distance to reading vision and many people find this uncomfortable.

Lens replacement surgery is offered as an alternative, where the natural lens is removed (as is any possibility of developing cataracts), and an artificial lens is fitted.

Monofocal lenses

one eye is fitted with an artificial lens (and the other can be corrected with a laser if needed), and your brain trains your eyes to alternate between distance and reading vision for certain tasks. Depending on whether you are comfortable with this and you’re able to get used to it, this may be a good option for you.

Multifocal lenses 

The design of the lens allows light to be split into three different focal strengths; near, intermediate and distance vision, meaning you’re able to make use of reading vision and distance vision without the aid of glasses or contact lenses, and you can avoid rummaging through your bags or pockets looking for your spectacles to read! There are no gaps in your vision going from reading to looking into the distance, like you would get with varifocals.


ultralase logo Find out more

If you have any questions around the topic mentioned or would like to book a free consultation to check your suitability for lens replacement surgery.

Visit Ultralase


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