What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia, or age-related near vision loss, is a condition in which eyesight is affected by decreased ability to focus on objects at close distances. This affects reading vision, and makes it difficult to see clearly at close range. Presbyopia is common, affecting nearly 2 billion people worldwide, and typically develops after 40 years of age.

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Presbyopia Symptoms

blurred vision graphic

Blurred Close-Range Vision

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Difficulty Driving At Night

difficulty reading graphic

Tendency To Hold Objects Or Books Further Away

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Eye Strain Or Headaches, Especially After Reading

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What Causes Presbyopia?

In order to keep an image in focus, the muscles of the eye contract to alter the shape of the lens accordingly. This process typically happens automatically. However, as the body ages, the lens of the eye usually increases in density and hardness, impairing the ability of the eye to autofocus. Focusing on close-distance objects can also become more challenging as the ligaments that hold the lens to the eyewall become lax.

Risk Factors for Presbyopia?

Age is the main factor in the development of presbyopia. The loss of near-vision clarity is considered part of the natural aging process, affecting everyone and typically developing in our mid-to-late 40s or early 50s. Certain risk factors can contribute to presbyopia in patients younger than 40. You may be more likely to develop premature presbyopia as a result of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Eye trauma
  • Farsightedness, or hyperopia

How is Presbyopia Diagnosed?

Presbyopia is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist during an eye exam. If you think you may be experiencing presbyopia symptoms, schedule an eye exam to have your vision evaluated. It is recommended that all adults receive a comprehensive eye exam at the age of 40, even if you are not experiencing any vision impairment. A preventative eye exam can serve as a baseline to help your eye specialist diagnose presbyopia or other potential vision issues.

Is There a Cure for Presbyopia?

While there is technically no cure for presbyopia, there are many effective treatments available that can reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses. The Eye Institute of Utah offers advanced procedures that can restore your ability to focus your vision at close distances.

Treatment Solutions for Presbyopia

Upon first notice of presbyopia symptoms, many people turn to reading glasses (sometimes referred to as cheaters or granny glasses). Reading glasses provide temporary relief from near vision loss, but there are drawbacks – glasses can be a hassle to take on and off, they tend to be misplaced easily and often, and some people dislike the way that they look. The Eye Institute of Utah specializes in personalized care and minimally invasive surgical solutions. Treatment options for presbyopia include:

VUITY™ Presbyopia Eye Drops

VUITY™ eye drops are the first FDA-approved eye drops that help treat age-related near vision loss, or presbyopia. VUITY eye drops are applied once daily, and the effects of the drops last up to six hours. These revolutionary eye drops work by constricting the size of the pupil to make it easier to focus on objects up close. In clinical studies, patients using VUITY drops showed a significant improvement in their near vision.1

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Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange, or RLE, is a procedure in which the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). In addition to addressing symptoms of presbyopia, RLE can also improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. RLE also eliminates the risk of developing cataracts.

At The Eye Institute of Utah, we offer a range of the most advanced presbyopia-correcting IOL options. Our team will recommend the lens that is best for your needs. Types of IOLs that may be used to treat presbyopia include:

  • Multifocal IOLs
  • Accommodating IOLs
  • Extended-Depth-of-Focus IOLs

Learn More About Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Monovision LASIK

In this procedure LASIK or PRK is performed in a way that one eye is corrected for distance and one eye is corrected for near vision. The result is successful when the brain utilizes neuroadaptation to process the near and distant images simultaneously to create a clear field of vision. In order to check a patient’s neuroadaptation, the surgeon will first prescribe trial monovision with contacts or glasses before considering monovision LASIK. Monovision LASIK may be a good option for patients who are seeking to reduce or eliminate reliance on bifocals or progressive lenses.

Learn More About LASIK

Am I a Candidate for Presbyopia Treatment?

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for RLE, Monovision LASIK, or Kamra™ Inlay is to schedule a consultation with a specialist at The Eye Institute of Utah. Even if you have been told in the past that you are not a candidate for laser vision correction, you may be a candidate for an alternative surgical procedure. Our team of experts will work with you to evaluate your vision and find the best option for you. In general, you may be a candidate for treatment if you have been diagnosed with presbyopia, or if:

MYTH: I have 20/20 vision so I won’t get presbyopia

FACT: Even if your vision has been perfect most of your life, you will likely experience near vision loss as you age. It’s natural and happens to everybody! The key is to find the presbyopia treatment that works best for you.

MYTH: Presbyopia and Farsightedness are the same

FACT: Both conditions cause a difficulty seeing up close, but the two are quite different. With Farsightedness, or hyperopia, near vision is reduced because of the shape of the eyeball. Whereas presbyopia develops with age due to the stiffening of the lens.

MYTH: You can cure presbyopia naturally with eye exercises

FACT: Eye exercises cannot repair or prevent the stiffening of the lens that causes presbyopia. People who attempt to correct vision with eye exercises may initially believe that they are improving their vision when they are actually becoming more accustomed to blurry vision.

Financing Options for Presbyopia Treatment

At The Eye Institute of Utah, we are committed to putting quality vision care within reach. We partner with independent medical lenders to offer financing options.

Learn More About Financing

1 Orasis Pharmaceuticals Ltd. A Multi-Center, Double-Masked Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of CSF-1 in the Treatment of Presbyopia. ClinicalTrials.gov. 21 March 2019. Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03885011?term=NCT03885011&draw=2&rank=1. Accessed May 24, 2022.

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The Eye Institute of Utah Doctors have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.