Did you ever wonder why even those who never had glasses have a hard time seeing things up close when they reach middle age? Because as you age, the lens of your eye becomes more and more inflexible, decreasing your ability to focus on close objects. That, in a nutshell, is presbyopia.
People with undiagnosed presbyopia tend to hold printed text at arm's length in order to focus properly. In addition to reading, carrying out other close-range activities, like needlepoint or handwriting, can also result in headaches, eyestrain or fatigue in those suffering from presbyopia. If you want to do something about presbyopia, there are a number of alternatives, regardless of whether you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Reading glasses are only efficient for those who wear contacts or for people who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. You can find these glasses basically anywhere, but it's best not to get a pair before you've seen the results of a proper visual exam. Those ''over-the-counter'' reading glasses may be helpful for brief blocks of reading time but they can eventually lead to fatigue with prolonged use.
And for those who already use glasses, but would rather not have to wear more than one pair of glasses, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). Essentially, these are eyeglasses with separate points of focus; the bottom section has the prescription for seeing at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist about multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment approach which is called monovision. Monovision is when each eye wears a different kind of lens; one for distance vision and one for close vision.
Expect to periodically adjust your prescriptions, because eyes change over time. But it's also crucial to research your various choices before making choices about your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery.
We recommend you speak to your eye doctor for an unbiased perspective. Presbyopia is a reality of getting older, but the choices you make about how to handle it is in your hands.