Presbyopia is a common type of vision disorder that occurs as you age. It is often referred to as the aging eye condition. Presbyopia results in the inability to focus up close, a problem associated with refraction in the eye.
Can I have presbyopia and another type of refractive error at the same time?
Yes. It is common to have presbyopia and another type of refractive error at the same time. There are several other types of refractive errors: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
An individual may have one type of refractive error in one eye and a different type of refractive error in the other.
What is refraction?
Refraction is the bending of light as it passes through one object to another. Vision occurs when light rays are bent (refracted) by the cornea and lens.
How does presbyopia occur?
Presbyopia happens naturally in people as they age. The eye is not able to focus light directly on to the retina due to the hardening of the natural lens. Aging also affects muscle fibers around the lens making it harder for the eye to focus on up close objects. The ineffective lens causes light to focus behind the retina, causing poor vision for objects that are up close.
When you are younger, the lens of the eye is soft and flexible, allowing the tiny muscles inside the eye to easily reshape the lens to focus on close and distant objects.
How is presbyopia corrected?
Eyeglasses are the simplest and safest means of correcting presbyopia. Eyeglasses for presbyopia have higher focusing power in the lower portion of the lens. This allows you to read through the lower portion of the lens and see properly at distant through the upper portion of the lens. It is also possible to purchase reading eyeglasses. These types of glasses do not require a prescription and can help with reading vision.
Reference: National Eye Institute (NEI)