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.
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.
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.
Why Aris Konstantopoulos
Experienced NHS Consultant
Cataract and refractive surgeon
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I had corrective lenses inserted in both eyes ... I am delighted with the results. After 10 years of wearing varifocal spectacles I no longer need them.
Dr Aris gave me complete confidence in the procedure I was having. He knows exactly how to usher one through the whole experience. At all times I felt I was in very able hands.
Had lens exchange surgery on both eyes with Dr Aris in past 6 months, I am very pleased with the results and the process has been very professional, caring and reassuring.
I have been thoroughly impressed with the level of care and professionalism that Aris and his team have shown at all stages in the process.
I am really happy with the way that it ended up and the path that I followed.