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Presbyopia is an inevitable change to your vision that most commonly occurs after age 40. It is widespread across humans and becoming more common due to our aging population. Globally, more than a billion people live with some form of presbyopia (as of 2005).
Presbyopia is marked by increased difficulty seeing fine details up close. In our smartphone age, presbyopia can be frustrating due to the diminutive size of most fonts and displays commonly used today.

Presbyopia Signs & Symptoms

Presbyopia develops gradually- you aren’t going to wake up tomorrow and realize that suddenly your vision is different. For most people, the visual changes are small and subtle enough that they will change their behaviour to cope without realizing that they are indeed experiencing the effects of presbyopia.
Signs include:

  • Holding books, electronic devices, and other items at arms length in order to see properly
  • Difficulty focusing on close objects
  • Headaches and eyestrain when reading or doing close computer work

Presbyopia Causes

Like all other parts of our body, our eyes change as we age. The lens, which is somewhat flexible and adaptable when we are young, becomes more rigid and less elastic. This change in flexibility makes it more difficult to focus (especially up close).

Presbyopia Treatments

There is no “cure” for presbyopia. It is an inevitable part of aging that will eventually affect all people, regardless of race or social standing. However, while there is no cure, there are numerous treatment and management options available.

Corrective Lenses

The easiest way to correct presbyopia is to wear corrective lenses. Whether you choose to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses is entirely up to you- they follow different (albeit similar) methods to correct your vision.
We recommend corrective lenses as the primary method of managing presbyopia due to their inexpensive cost, overall effectiveness, and ease of modification to suit new prescriptions (necessary as presbyopia continues to develop).


Surgical options to treat presbyopia exist, though their effects are temporary (due to the nature of presbyopia and how it develops). There are several versions of surgery available for presbyopia that use radio waves to influence eye curvature. As well, laser refractive surgery can be utilized to create “monovision”, where one eye is more effective for near vision and the other is more effective for far vision.

Written by Dr. Kyla Hunter

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