• 15 JUL 17
    • 39
    Help – I think I need bifocals!

    Help – I think I need bifocals!

    Is it time to visit your Toronto eye clinic for an eye exam?

    If you’re thinking that you may need bifocals, then read on and find out.

    We’ve all seen people holding a brochure or restaurant menu out at arm’s length in order to read the fine print. But if you thought they were people with eye problems that you fortunately don’t experience…wait a while!

    Beginning in their late thirties to mid-40s, many if not most adults begin to have problems seeing clearly at close distances, especially when reading print.

    This applies equally to people whose vision has remained perfect or near-perfect throughout their lives, and those who already have other vision problems.

    It’s a normal, age-related change in the eye’s focusing ability called presbyopia, and whether treated or not, it will continue to progress over time. What’s important is to get corrective lenses so you don’t develop additional problems, like headaches and eyestrain, from attempting to see up close without glasses.

    Near Vision Problems are Not Necessarily a Sign of Underlying Issues
    If your eyes have always been ‘good’, you may be alarmed and confused at this vision loss, which may seem to have occurred overnight.

    However, it is far more likely that the changes were so gradual that you simply didn’t notice until you found yourself holding that menu at arm’s length!

    Over time, eyes lose their natural focusing ability, so close work like reading and crafts becomes more difficult, especially in low light conditions. The change occurs because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible over time, making it more difficult to change focus back and forth between objects that are far away and objects that are nearby.

    The older you get, the more advanced the condition can become, until about age 60, when the vision loss should slow to an eventual halt.

    Until then, you may need several prescription changes in your glasses to keep on top of the changes.

    Treatments for Presbyopia

    Presbyopia can’t be avoided or cured, but there are effective treatments available to allow you to see the world with perfect vision, and perform the daily tasks like reading the paper, checking email and doing close work with ease.

    Here are the options for people with presbyopia:

    • Laser eye surgery: Improvements in laser eye technology can now correct for presbyopia better than ever before, whether there are other refractive errors present or not
    • Glasses, whether single vision reading glasses (you can often purchase these without a prescription at the drug store) or multifocal lenses (your optometrist will layer a prescription to correct the presbyopia, on to your existing prescription)
    • Contact lenses: Bifocal contacts? Yes, they are a thing! You may just need monovision contact lenses if you only have trouble seeing close up but can still see distances clearly.

    When It’s More Than Just Presbyopia

    After 40, it’s recommended that you visit your Toronto optometrist at least every two years (more often if required) to maintain optimal eye health and check if any problems are developing.

    While presbyopia is a normal part of the aging process for many adults, after 40 is also the age at which other vision problems have a greater chance of developing.

    You should visit your optometrist if you suspect you may be developing presbyopia, but it’s even more imperative to seek help if you have noticed other eye problems, such as:

    • Inconsistent vision. Vision that fluctuates could indicate an underlying problem, like high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can damage the blood vessels in the retina.
    • Seeing spots and floaters doesn’t harm vision in and of itself, but it’s best to get checked if you are seeing flashes, halos, or if the floaters are interfering with your ability to perform daily tasks.
    • Loss of peripheral vision or seeing distorted images. This could indicate glaucoma or macular degeneration.

    For good vision at any age, come in for an eye exam today!

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