Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a vision condition where the lens loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close objects. In early and middle life, the eye’s crystalline lens can adjust to focus on both near and distant images by becoming thicker for close objects and thinner for distant ones. Presbyopia occurs when this ability diminishes.

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Symptoms of Presbyopia:

– Blurry vision when viewing objects up close, typically starting after age 40

– Difficulty adjusting focus between near and distant objects

– Eye fatigue and headaches during close work

Causes of Presbyopia:

-Age: As we age, the lenses in our eyes lose elasticity, reducing their ability to change focus for different distances. Though presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, the loss of flexibility happens gradually over several years. The lenses begin losing their ability to flatten and thicken long before the difficulty with close-up vision becomes apparent. Presbyopia typically becomes noticeable in the early to mid-forties.

Diagnosing Presbyopia:

A comprehensive eye exam will include testing for presbyopia. Your eye doctor will conduct a refractive evaluation to see if your eyes focus light rays correctly on the retina at various distances. A visual acuity test will measure how clearly you can see at all distances. The doctor will also assess your eye coordination, muscle control, and ability to change focus, all of which affect your vision.

Treatment of Presbyopia:

Reading glasses and contact lenses are commonly used for the temporary treatment of presbyopia. However, several vision correction procedures can surgically reduce or eliminate its effects. Some patients opt for monovision, which allows one eye to see clearly at a distance and the other to see clearly up close. Presbyopia can coexist with other refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

 

LINK FOR Flashes and Floaters:

Flashes and floaters can be concerning, but an eye examination usually confirms that they are harmless and do not require treatment.

Symptoms of Flashes & Vitreous Floaters:

– Seeing small, floating spots

– Seeing bright flashes of light

Causes of Flashes and Floaters:

Aging of the Eye: Most flashes and floaters are caused by age-related changes in the gel-like substance, called vitreous, that fills the back of the eye. 

Early Development: At birth, the vitreous is firmly attached to the retina and is thick, like firm gelatin. It may contain clumps of gel or tiny strands of tissue debris from early eye development.

Changes with Age: As we age, the vitreous becomes thinner and waterier. By your twenties or thirties, the vitreous may be watery enough to allow some clumps and strands to move around, casting shadows on the retina that appear as small floating spots.

Later Changes: After age 55, larger, more bothersome floaters or flashes of light may occur as the vitreous becomes even more watery and moves around more. Eventually, the vitreous can pull away from the retina and shrink into a dense mass in the center of the eyeball, causing larger floaters.

Who is at Risk?

Flashes and floaters are very common and can occur at any age, becoming more frequent as we get older. In rare cases, a doctor’s exam may reveal a more serious condition, such as a retinal tear or hole, so regular eye exams and informing your doctor of new flashes or floaters is important.

Diagnosing Flashes and Floaters:

Your doctor can use special instruments to look into your eyes and distinguish between harmless floaters and more serious retinal issues like holes, tears, or detachment. Symptoms of these more serious problems include seeing hundreds of small floating spots, persistent flashing lights, or a veil-like blockage of part of your vision. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately.

Treatment for Flashes and Floaters:

There is no surgical, laser, or medication treatment to eliminate floaters. Over time, floaters become less noticeable as the brain adjusts and learns to “tune out” their presence. However, they will always be somewhat observable, especially against light-colored backgrounds.

Anyone experiencing flashes or the sudden onset of new floaters should see an ophthalmologist promptly. The ophthalmologist will perform a dilated exam to look at the vitreous and retina with specialized equipment. Sudden flashes or floaters could be symptoms of a vitreous detachment, a benign condition that carries a risk of developing into a retinal tear or detachment.

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