WHY IS IT HARDER TO READ AFTER 40? PRESBYOPIA

Just when your career and life are really starting to take off, your eyes seem to be slowing down. Reading and viewing close objects becomes progressively more difficult in your 40’s because of a natural aging process called presbyopia.

Presbyopia makes reading more difficult because of a decreased ability to change focus, especially from far to near. As you age, the lens in your eyes becomes more rigid, and the muscles gradually lose their ability to focus at near.

The signs of presbyopia are:
• Small print is difficult to read
• You need to hold things further away to read
• You need more light to read
• Reading is easier without glasses or contact lenses if you are nearsighted

You can slow down the progression of presbyopia by doing several things:
1. Accommodative exercises: focus between a distant and very close target as fast as you can for 5-10 minutes every day. This increases your eye’s focus flexibility, strength and stamina.
2. Homeopathic remedies: This can slow down, and even reverse the aging process of presbyopia and cataracts. We can prescribe these for you after examining your eyes.
3. Wear sunglasses or glasses with an ultraviolet filter to slow down the aging effects of the sun on your eyes, and to minimize wrinkles around your eyes.
4. Taking anti-oxidant supplements to minimize lens oxidation, which can increase the rigidity of your eyes’ focusing lens. Green leafy vegetables, and orange-colored fruits and vegetables are also good sources of anti-oxidants.

Inevitably, you will need a special prescription, or bifocal lens for reading, even if you had refractive surgery. Options to help you read include:
• Progressive lenses (no-line bifocals)
• Reading glasses
• Adjustable computer glasses
• Bifocal contact lenses
• Mono-vision contact lenses or refractive surgery

We practice in a holistic manner, and are always looking for ways to help our patients age gracefully through diet and exercise, not only for your body, but also for your eyes.

Author
Dr. Elise Brisco

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