Thursday, September 8, 2011

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a gradual lessening of the power of accommodation due to a physiologic change that becomes noticeable about the age of 40 years. The accommodation ability decreases because of loss of the strength of the ciliary muscle and hardening of the lens. The primary feature of presbyopia is an inability to do close work. Initially it manifests as difficulty in seeing the menu in dimly lit restaurants. Bright light always helps because it adds contrast and constricts pupils to a pinhole aperture. Some people complain that they have to hold the print farther away and eventually they are reading with an uncomfortable reach, complaining that their arms have become too short. Other symptoms include fatigue with reading, grittiness of the eyes with prolonged close work and trouble with threading a needle.
However, not everyone who is 45 or older needs reading glasses. Myopic (nearsighted) persons do not because they can simply take off their glasses to read. Those who are nearsighted in one eye may not be aware of this anomaly and may carry on happily without a reading aid indefinitely. Also, the needs of people differ. A pharmacist will require reading glasses long before the waiter will. Some people do not read or sew and have little use for a reading assist at any time.
If you are frustrated about your inability to read comfortably please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 to schedule an appointment for an eye examination.