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Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Presbyopia is a refractive error that makes it hard for middle-aged and older adults to see things up close.

Presbyopia is an age-related process. It is a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye. It happens because the lens (an inner part of the eye that helps the eye focus) stops focusing light correctly on the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye).

You may start to notice presbyopia shortly after age 40. You will probably find that you hold reading materials farther away in order to see them clearly.

What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Trouble seeing things up close

  • Needing to hold reading materials farther away to focus on them

  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance

  • Eye strain (when your eyes feel tired or sore)

  • Headache

How can I check for presbyopia?

Optometrists can check for presbyopia as part of a comprehensive eye exam. The exam is simple and painless.

What’s the treatment for presbyopia?

In early stages of presbyopia, you can try some simple changes to help you read, like:

  • Holding reading materials farther away

  • Choosing large-print books or increasing font size on the computer

  • Using brighter reading lights

As your presbyopia gets worse, you’ll probably need glasses or contact lenses to help you read. Some people use over-the-counter reading glasses — or your optometrist can prescribe lenses to help you see as clearly as possible.

Video Resource:

Source: Eye Smart - American Academy of Ophthalmology


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