Presbyopia is one of the most common conditions affecting senior citizens nowadays. Presbyopia is caused by the eye’s inability to focus in old age, especially with near objects. Thus, blurring of vision occurs, more prominently in the dark. Presbyopia typically presents with blurring of vision when looking at near objects, requiring patients to hold objects far away to be able to see or read. Some people who are nearsighted before they are 40 years old find that their nearsightedness is actually surprisingly advantageous, allowing them to see more clearly when presbyopia starts to set in.
Previously, presbyopia was treated with corrective lenses that are able to compensate for the loss of the eye’s ability to focus effectively. If the patient has an additional refractive error, convex lenses can be used. If corrective lenses aren’t enough, senior citizens can be given a prescription for bifocals or multifocals. The downside to the use of these lenses is that they can occasionally distort the images that you see. Also, the prescription of the glasses changes constantly, as presbyopia progresses.
Senior citizens who would rather not use eyeglasses or contact lenses can opt to undergo laser eye surgery in order to correct presbyopia. Typically, LASIK eye surgery is used in correcting presbyopia. Conventional LASIK eye surgery, however, can further aggravate the senior citizen’s inability to see things up close. Thus, instead of employing the typical LASIK eye surgery, a specific approach, known as monovision, is used.
The monovision approach was initially employed using contact lenses. One contact lens corrects near vision in one eye while the other contact lens corrects distance vision in the other. In time, a more permanent form of monovision was developed. Instead of using contact lenses, laser can be used to permanently change the vision of the eye. One eye can be permanently corrected for near vision while the other eye is permanently corrected for distance vision.
Some people find it very hard to adjust to monovision. Before undergoing monovision laser eye surgery, it is a good idea to first try with contact lenses. This will help you determine whether you can handle permanent monovision or not. If you can’t, laser eye surgery may not be for you. You may want to consider other forms of treatment for presbyopia. These treatments include the use of intraocular lenses and novel techniques, such as the use of scleral expansion bands and the surgical reversal of presbyopia, or SRP.
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