As we age, things don’t work like they used too. Our hair turns white, we take longer to heal from injury, and often we can experience vision problems.

Not all vision problems are normal, but presbyopia, a condition resulting in the inability to focus on items up close, is a common disorder that comes with age. The good news with this condition is that, by itself, it is not cause for worry.

The National Eye Institute explains; “The eye is not able to focus light directly on to the retina due to the hardening of the natural lens. Aging also affects muscle fibers around the lens making it harder for the eye to focus on up close objects. The ineffective lens causes light to focus behind the retina, causing poor vision for objects that are up close. When you are younger, the lens of the eye is soft and flexible, allowing the tiny muscles inside the eye to easily reshape the lens to focus on close and distant objects.”

The signs of presbyopia include having a tough time reading small print, having to hold items at an arm’s length to read them, trouble seeing things up close, headaches and eye strain. This condition tends to develop between ages 40 to 45 but the National Eye Institute reports anyone over 35 is at risk.

Your local eye care experts can diagnose the condition with a simple dilated eye exam, and the treatment is usually a set of eyeglasses. Your eye doctor will know whether to suggest prescription bifocal lenses or commercially available reading glasses that you find in many stores.

For many people, an eye exam is recommended every one to two years, but your needs may vary depending on age and overall health. No matter your age, if you experience a change in vision, it is important to see your eye doctor. They can rule out more serious conditions and get you the treatment you need to see clearly once again.

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