As we age, the natural lenses of our eyes become less flexible, making it more difficult to focus on nearby objects. It leads to blurry vision at the normal reading distance you used to have before.
This condition, called presbyopia, usually starts to develop after 40 years old. Normally, the lens changes shape, so you can focus on objects near and far away. When you have presbyopia, your lens has trouble focusing so you start to squint and extend your arm when reading restaurant menus, newspapers or even your mobile phones, especially in low light. You may also experience headaches or eyestrain after reading or doing any close-up work like sewing or using the computer.
A lot of people have presbyopia along with other refractive errors—nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Your vision can be corrected by wearing reading glasses or other types of prescription lenses. But how do you choose which one is right for you?
Reading glasses. These prescription lenses can be monofocal or bifocal. Monofocal single-vision lenses have one grade throughout the entire lens, while bifocals have a magnified section at the bottom. Easily available, these are best suited for short-term wear and for people who have the same prescription in both eyes.
Bifocals. These lenses have two prescriptions. Usually with two parts or sections, the upper part is for distance vision, while the lower part is for reading and close-up work.
The conventional bifocals have visible lines and can be of several shapes—half-moon, round, narrow rectangle or full bottom. But with recent lens technology called “freeform,” there are bifocal lenses with no lines at all! These are called “bigressives,” and an example of bigressives is Shamir Duo (shamirlens. com/products/shamir-lensesproducts/item/106-shamirduo%E2%84%A2).
Progressives. Progressives have lenses split into three parts or sections—one for close-up work like reading, one for medium distance work like computer work and one for distance viewing like driving. There are no visible lines that delineate the grade changes from the top to the bottom of the lens.
Presbyopia develops as a natural part of aging. Get your eyes checked so you can talk to your Asian Eye doctor about which lenses will suit your vision and your lifestyle. When you get a thorough eye checkup, you can be sure that your vision is not only clear, but that your eyes are healthy and free from any signs of any other eye conditions that can affect your vision in the long term.
Asian Eye Institute offers a comprehensive range of optical solutions for presbyopia, from reading glasses to bigressives by Shamir to progressive lenses to contact lenses, all to help you have clear, comfortable vision. Asian Eye has optical shops at Rockwell Center, Makati; TriNoma, Quezon City; SM Mall of Asia, Pasay; Commercenter Alabang, Muntinlupa; and Asian Eye Vision Center at Power Plant Mall, Makati.
(Story/Photos by:Charizze Henson)