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Need for reading glasses

The need for reading glasses is known as presbyopia in medical terms. Presbyopia is the normal change in near vision that develops over time, gradually affecting individuals older than 40 years. The lens inside your eye progressively loses its ability to change shape and thus focus for close-up objects, a process that starts in childhood but tends to cause symptoms only later in life. The ageing process of your lens, once it starts causing visual symptoms, is also known as dysfunctional lens syndrome.


Presbyopia is a growing cause of visual disability due to the increasing use of smaller print or fonts, and also increased use of smartphones, tablets and computers for leisure and work.

What symptoms does presbyopia cause?

​The first symptoms are increasing tiredness and strain when reading small print, particularly when this is required for prolonged periods. The ability to focus from distance to near and vice versa becomes sluggish. Throughout the fifth and sixth decades, the quality of vision for near (and distance) decreases and there is a growing tendency to hold your phone or book further away in order to bring text and images into focus.  You may also find that you rely more on the use of bright light to aid your reading. 

Why does presbyopia develop?

Presbyopia is caused by a natural decline in the elasticity of the normal lens inside your eye. Although the muscles that move the lens tend not to lose their ability, your lens becomes stiffer throughout life, losing its ability to accommodate and therefore focus at a range of distances. This occurs largely due to age-related changes in the lens proteins and lens capsule.

These symptoms sound familiar? Contact Us for a free screening for laser eye surgery.

How can presbyopia be treated?

The elasticity of your natural lens cannot be restored! There are however some great options available to help you see better:



The majority of the population wears reading glasses for presbyopia. If you do have pre-existing short-sightedness, long-sightedness or astigmatism, you may require two pairs of glasses, one for distance and one for near. Progressive or varifocal lenses can be used; generally, these can take time to adjust to and can suffer from peripheral poor quality of vision.


Contact lenses 

Multifocal contact lenses are becoming increasingly popular. They can provide good distance and near vision, but commonly their quality of vision is affected by movement of the contact lens with blinking. Contact lens wear does also carry on-going and long-term risks, such as dry eye, intolerance, infection and visual loss.


PRESBYOND laser blended vision

PRESBYOND is a variant of LASIK laser eye surgery; laser is used to change the refractive properties of the cornea, focusing your dominant eye for distance and the other eye for near vision. It is different to traditional monovision, as the sophisticated wavefront laser profile expands the depth of focus for each eye and creates a smooth transition (blend zone) between the two eyes.

This improves your vision whether you are reading a book or driving a car, greatly reducing or eliminating the need for glasses. PRESBYOND laser treatment is suitable for the majority of people who require (reading) glasses for near work. Although used primarily to compensate for reading glasses, it is combined with correction of pre-existing short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. 


Refractive lens exchange - RLE

Your natural lens can be replaced with a new multifocal intraocular lens that will provide distance and near vision. The new lens stays in place for life and does not require replacement at a later date. With the appropriate selection of intraocular lens, the procedure also treats underlying refractive errors of the eye, such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. Lens replacement surgery tends to be performed if you are not suitable for PRESBYOND laser vision correction, e.g. if you have a high prescription, early cataract or a corneal condition that precludes laser eye surgery.

Laser and RLE surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life – if you're interested in finding out more call 




or Contact Us for a free screening for laser eye surgery. 

Clinic Locations

Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital 

Nuffield Health Guildford Hospital

Southampton Spire Hospital

University Hospital Southampton NHS

Book an appointment or a free screening review for Laser Vision Correction.


Call 02381 812281

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Aris Konstantopoulos MB ChB, MSc, FRCOphth, PhD

Consultant Eye Surgeon

Cataract, cornea and refractive surgery

Consultation clinics:

  • Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

  • Nuffield Health Guildford Hospital, Guildford, GU2 7RF

  • Southampton Spire Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6UY

  • University Hospital Southampton NHS FT, SO16 6YD


Mr Aris Konstantopoulos

Aris Vision Correction

Southampton Spire Hospital

Southampton, SO16 6UY

T: 02381 812281

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