It happens to the best of us. Some time around the age of 40, the vast
majority of people notice a change in up-close vision. While opting for
a pair of drugstore readers may be a logical first step, Dallas Optometrist
Amanda Hoelscher, O.D. encourages people to ask their eye doctor about the new technology available
to treat near vision loss today.
As Dr. Hoelscher explains, “At Key-Whitman Eye Centers, we are able
to offer patients options to treat presbyopia today that weren’t
available even 6 months ago. If you were dissatisfied with the comfort
or degree of vision correction you could achieve in the past, it’s
worth your time to schedule a visit with your eye care practitioner.”
Near vision loss worsens over time, readers become a hassle
The first vision change people typically notice is a difficulty reading
smaller print. Instead of holding that fine print closer, you may find
letters are out of focus and moving reading material further out helps
clear things up.
According to Dr. Hoelscher, “
As presbyopia worsens with age
, people notice they need more light to read small print and have increased
difficulty going from distance vision to near tasks. Like when you’re
at a sporting event and switch from
reading the scoreboard to checking email on your cell phone. The eye muscles
tend to get sluggish, so it will take longer to adjust your focus from
far to near.”
When readers no longer fit their needs or interfere with work, patients
often turn to their eye doctor for alternatives that offer more convenience
and better vision correction.
“We’re so dependent on computers today, both at work and play.
Patients who need to get computer vision in focus, or frequently switch
from the computer to small print in their jobs, often don’t want
to have a pair of reading glasses hanging off their noses. Those annoyances
urge people to come in to see me for an eye exam,” Dr. Hoelscher says.
So what options ARE available to treat presbyopia today?
There are a number of options available to help correct near vision loss
– from traditional glasses, to contact lenses, to eye surgery. These include:
1. Prescription eyeglasses.
According to Dr. Hoelscher, “You can look at it as a progression.
First, we can prescribe prescription reading glasses, then we can look
at a bifocal or no-line bifocal, so you don’t need to swap between
different sets of glasses.”
2. Monovision or multifocal contact lenses.
For people who don’t want to wear glasses, they now have more
contact lens options available than ever before. Today’s contacts also offer superior comfort,
clarity and convenience compared to lenses of years past.
“You can consider monovision contact lenses where one eye sees distance
and one eye sees near. Some people with great distance vision may even
opt to wear a single lens to correct for presbyopia and rely on their
other eye for distance.
Most of my 40+ aged patients opt for multifocal lenses that correct both
distance and near vision. There are so many advances in multifocal lenses
today, and I fit plenty of those,” says Dr. Hoelscher.
Recent advances in multifocal lenses – many released in the past
several months – have really improved both comfort and clarity for
Dr. Hoelscher’s patients.
As she explains, “Before these recent lens advances, we typically
asked clients whether they wanted to focus on distance vision with decent
up-close vision, or focus on up-close vision and stay functional for distance.
Now with some of these new options we can accommodate near vision better.
Plus, we also have daily multifocal lens options now – new lenses
that you put in each morning and throw out at the end of the day. What’s
great about the daily option is the comfort stays consistent, because
you’re always wearing a fresh lens. This is especially nice for
patients 40 and above who experience
dry eye issues – which can further complicate wearing contact lenses. Daily multifocals
have really filled a niche that we couldn’t fill prior.”
3. Eye surgery and intraocular or accommodative lens implants.
Patients with cataracts who
need cataract surgery now have the option to choose lens implants that correct for presbyopia
along with distance vision.
“There are new high-technology lens implants that allow the majority
of patients to have freedom from glasses most of the time. We offer ReSTOR® and Tecnis® multifocal lens implants as well as accommodative lens implants from Crystalens® and TrulignTM,” Dr. Hoelscher says.
More surgical options to treat presbyopia are on the horizon.
According to Dr. Hoelscher, “At Key-Whitman we’re involved
in a number of exciting research projects, some involving the correction
of presbyopia. Patients can look forward to more surgical options to treat
near vision loss in the future.”
Rely on your eye doctor, not the drugstore, to improve vision
Buying a pair of reading glasses from the drugstore isn’t the best
and only option out there.
“Plenty of advances in presbyopia correction are available, from
multifocal contact lenses to surgical eye procedures. It’s important
that you discuss options with your eye care practitioner instead of taking
it upon yourself. Technology is changing at lightening speed, so you owe
it to yourself – and to your eye health – to see your eye
doctor every 1 to 2 years,” Dr. Hoelscher says.
If you would like to learn more about the latest treatments available for
presbyopia, we’re here to help. For more information or to schedule
an eye health exam, call (855) 600-7296 or fill out our digital form to schedule your eye exam online.
Photo Source: Dollar Photo Club