Did you know that your vision has been gradually changing since childhood? It’s true! These subtle changes occur for everyone, even for individuals who have never needed assistance from glasses or contacts. Over the course of your life, the lens in your eyes begins to stiffen and slowly begins to lose its ability to change focus from near to far.
Trouble Focusing Up Close (Presbyopia)
After age 40, these gradual vision changes often begin to manifest as having difficulty quickly changing focus. For example, you may notice transient blur at distance after you have been doing a lot of near work. This is called Presbyopia, which will continue to advance through your early 50’s when near vision changes should then stop.
Presbyopia is not curable or preventable and it occurs for everyone. Your local optometrist can assist in correcting your vision with eyeglasses or contact lenses so that you can maintain your quality of life.
Symptoms of Presbyopia
These symptoms may occur gradually with the first signs showing after age 40:
- Hold reading material further away to make letters clearer
- Needing brighter lighting when reading
- Blurred vision at normal reading distance
- Eyestrain/ headaches after a task requiring near vision like reading
- Slow transition from near to far viewing or vice versa
Age is the greatest factor for developing presbyopia. Almost everyone experiences symptoms of presbyopia after age 40 to some degree.
Premature Presbyopia Risk Factors
Specific diseases like diabetes, anemia, eye trauma, multiple sclerosis or cardiovascular diseases can increase your risk of premature presbyopia, which is presbyopia in people younger than 40. Some drugs are associated with premature presbyopia symptoms, including; alcohol, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressant, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antispasmodics, and diuretics.1
When to See an Optometrist
If blurry close-up vision is interfering with your day-to-day tasks or quality of life, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist right away.
Seek immediate medical care if you experience:
- Sudden loss of vision in one eye with or without eye pain
- Sudden hazy or blurred vision
- Flashes of light, black spots or halos around lights
- Double vision
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