Have you ever had your vision blur after looking at something for an extended period of time? For instance, your computer screen at work or the book you are reading? Well if your answer is “Yes!” and you are around the age of 40 or above, then you are probably experiencing what is called Presbyopia.
Unfortunately, almost everyone will develop presbyopia over time, even if you have a history of having perfect vision. People who are nearsighted will notice their near vision begins to blur when wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau data in 2008, more than 135 million American were age 40 and older, and the population is only growing older. In 2008 the median age rose to 36.8—1.5 years higher than the year 2000. As the population grows older, the demand for vision correction continues to rise. Demand for presbyopic corrective surgery has increased dramatically as a result of that.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that there were more than a billion people suffering from presbyopia in 2005, and over half of them were not able to find adequate vision correction. In developing countries, you have a lot of options for vision correction—glasses, contacts, laser eye surgery—but in the more rural regions of the world these options are either too expensive or completely unavailable. This unfortunately hinders the development of literacy and negatively influences work productivity.
Symptoms: What should I be on the lookout for?
Typically, a sign you are developing presbyopia is when you begin finding yourself holding magazines, menus, books, newspapers, and other various reading materials a distance away from your face so that your eyes can focus properly. Other common symptoms of presbyopia include recurring headaches, eye strain, and eye fatigue when performing tasks that require consistent focus on objects up close.
What is the cause of Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process, that involves the hardening of the eyes inner lens. As the lens hardens it becomes less flexible and becomes less able to adjust for viewing things up closely, thus blurring your focus. This differs from astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness, which is more dependent on the shape of the eyeball itself and is brought on by genetic and/or environmental factors.
If you are concerned that you might be developing presbyopia, make sure to set up an appointment with your eye doctor so that you can receive the proper vision corrective treatment for you.