Have you lived your entire life thus far without the need for glasses? Do you wear glasses for distance vision, but are taking them off more often to read your text messages or computer screen? Are you closing in on the age of 40?
You will likely begin to notice up-close activities becoming more difficult as your eyes age, especially reading text messages on your phone or flipping through your favorite book. This condition, known as presbyopia, occurs when the crystalline lens inside your eye begins to harden, thicken, and lose the elasticity it once had when you were younger. Don’t mistake presbyopia for hyperopia (farsightedness). Although it can happen along with hyperopia, it can also happen with myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism.
What Exactly Is Presbyopia and Why Does It Happen As You Age?
Presbyopia is the gradual loss of up-close vision as you age. Vision is a complex process, involving many structures in your eyes and brain. When light enters your eye, it goes through your cornea, passing through the pupil and iris (what gives your eye its color), and then goes through the lens. In your younger years, the lens is flexible and able to discern near distances from far and adjust accordingly to help you see clearly. As you age, its elasticity begins to diminish and it becomes thicker and harder, causing your near vision to change. If you are myopic (nearsighted), you might find yourself actually taking your glasses off to check your notifications and to see at a close range.
You might experience additional symptoms like headaches and fatigue, trouble driving at night, blurry vision at a normal reading distance – particularly in low light, and eye strain. This natural part of the aging process might get frustrating, but reading glasses might do the trick, or our EDGE HDVi Progressive Vision lenses, which are created specifically for your prescription with balanced, near/mid and distance options.
Feeling Strained Using a Computer or Other Digital Device?
We are constantly being exposed to new technology and devices, so the eyes are working harder than they ever have to keep up. A study performed by the American Academy of Optometry found that computer users with presbyopia complained more about eyestrain, neck pain, and back pain than those without. Other symptoms of digital eye strain (or Computer Vision Syndrome) include:
- Finding it hard to concentrate on a task
- Dry, burning, watery, or itchy eyes
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty keeping your eyes open
If you spend your days working on a computer or other instances where you perform close work, like knitting or writing, it might be beneficial to add another pair of eyeglasses to your collection if you already wear prescription glasses for distance vision. Our EDGE Device lenses are perfect for close-up activities and provide enhanced visual comfort during prolonged screen time. They can be used continuously from morning until night, but you might want to switch to your normal single vision glasses if you are watching a basketball game or another activity that is further away.
Help Your Eyes Rest With These Tips
Scheduling an eye exam with your Midwest Eye Consultants eye doctor is the next step to determine which path is right for your vision. In the meantime, if you’re experiencing eye strain, give those peepers a break by blinking often, dimming the lights or your screens, adjusting your computer monitor and making sure it’s at an adequate distance away, and observing the 20-20-20 rule that we preach often. Allow your eyes to rest every 20 minutes by spending 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away.
September is Healthy Aging Month. There are so many ways to maintain optimum health as you age, and scheduling an eye exam is one of them. Love your eyes and schedule an appointment today. Request an appointment online or visit our locations page to get contact information for your nearest Midwest Eye Consultants.