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A woman reading on an iPod

Around age 40 our eyes go through a change called presbyopia. Presbyopia affects the lens of the eye. The lens focuses light that enters the eye on the retina, or back of the eye. This is how we can see images.

When we are born, our lens is soft and flexible. It can focus on things in the distance and adjust to look at things up close. Over time the lens begins to harden and swell which reduces its ability to adjust. The loss of this focusing ability results in blurred or distorted images when you look at close objects such as reading a book or looking at a tablet. Presbyopia is not reversible, but there are solutions to this change.

Over-the-counter reading glasses can be purchased from your local drug store or right here in our optical shop. They are perhaps the least expensive solution to presbyopia. When picking out the perfect pair, remember that the closer the object, the more power you need. For those who have astigmatism or a substantial distance glasses prescription, over-the-counter reading glasses are not the solution.

Prescription bifocal glasses give you both distance and near vision. A distinctive line separates the distance prescription (top) and near prescription (bottom).

Prescription trifocal glasses give you distance, intermediate and near vision. A distinctive line separates each segment.

Prescription progressive glasses allow a continuous correction from a distance, to intermediate, to reading. These divisions are blended so there are no lines on the lenses. You may need time to adjust to progressive glasses, as they can be disorienting at first.

Monovision – This can be created with contact lenses or laser vision correction (LASIK). One eye is your “distance eye,” and one eye is your “near eye.” Through a process called neuro-adaptation, your brain naturally suppresses one eye and uses the other eye dependent on where you are focusing. Some people that use monovision like to have a pair of glasses that “balance them” or makes both eyes see at a distance for night time driving, or a pair for reading when they read for several hours at a time.

Multifocal contact lens – These contacts give you distance and near vision without the need for glasses.

Multifocal lens implants – You can have your lens taken out of your eye and have an implant correct for your distance, intermediate, and near vision. This is a great option, but these lenses can create glares and halos around lights at night and can making night time driving a little difficult.

Even though this eye change is not reversible, the doctors at Atlantic Eye Institute are committed to helping you find the perfect solution for your lifestyle. Schedule an appointment today to find out which solution is best fitted for you!

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