There are many common ailments and conditions in the world that modern medicine has managed to conquer or develop experimental treatments for, that have had varying degrees of success, if not complete outright cures. Modern medicine is amazing yet, there are some that are still too intricate, too complex and simply too risky to operate on. One such condition is presbyopia.
Presbyopia is an eye condition and it is directly related to ageing. In layman’s terms, presbyopia is the process where the lenses in our eyes start to become less flexible and supple and cannot alter their shape or size to correctly focus on objects close up or far away. Much like our muscle tissue, ligaments and joints, ageing makes them stiffer and less flexible, which simply means that the parts of our body that we rely so heavily on to be able to do their jobs become diminished and thus, with age our ability to focus correctly gets worse and our eyesight gradually deteriorates year after year.
This process usually occurs in adults above the age of 40 however, it is most commonly seen in people aged between 50 and 65. Regular daily tasks such as reading and writing become a much greater strain on the eyes and invariably, we find ourselves holding books, magazines or printed material further away from our eyes in an attempt to focus better. This is simply because the focal range of our eyes has narrowed and we are essentially, trying to find a range in which our eyes can successfully focus on the print and make it legible.
The only way to combat this directly is to start wearing reading glasses. There’s no direct cure or procedure that can be done to fix this problem and thus, when we reach our latter years, we will all eventually have to get used to the idea of having a pair of reading spectacles close by if we want to be able to read and focus on things better.
Thankfully, reading glasses are very easy to come by and can be purchased from high street and online retailers. Even better are the prices. Some reading glasses cost only pennies and are very good quality. There’s a whole new approach to eyewear these days and to some, they’re seen as the ultimate fashion accessory, with dozens of shapes, styles, colours and strengths available to choose from.
So how do you know if you have presbyopia and need to buy a pair of reading glasses? Check these five indicators to be absolutely sure:
Most of us notice changes in our reading habits first and foremost. Do you now find yourself holding books and magazines further away from your face to focus on the words? If you’re holding a book at least 10-12″ or more, then this could be a telltale sign that your eyes are on the decline.
Much like point 1 above, if you now find concentrating on reading and writing to be a chore, or worse, you’re getting bad headaches, sore eyes and stiffness in your neck and back, these are signs of fatigue caused by eye strain and could be a attributed to deteriorating focal range.
3) Intricate Tasks
If you like to indulge in intricate tasks that require deep concentration and focus, such as sewing, knitting, model making, arts, crafts and drawing and find yourself struggling to focus on the task at hand more than you had done in the past, and you literally cannot focus, chances are, presbyopia is taking hold.
4) Eye Charts
There’s some great websites online where you can either buy or download a free wall chart to test your eyes at home. If you wish to do this, run a search for a diopter chart and you can print one out or purchase one and see how well or how badly your eyes are focusing. If done correctly, you should be able to tell what strength of reading glasses you need to help assist your eyesight.
5) Regular Eye Tests
If you haven’t been getting regular eye tests then really, you should be asking yourself why not? Anyone over the age of forty should get a regular eye check, at least once per year with an eye care professional such as a optician or optometrist, who can throughly check your eye health and determine if your eyesight and focal range is acceptable or whether you may need prescription glasses or reading glasses to help with day-to-day tasks.
Remember that the above list is just a guide so if you are ever in doubt as to whether you have presbyopia or another eye condition, you should always consult your eye doctor first. Home testing is never foolproof but it does at least give you some idea if your eyes are starting to show signs of age and that you may need to book an appointment to have them checked out. If ever in doubt, go and see your eye care professional and they’ll be able to give you a conclusive, final diagnosis.