How is presbyopia diagnosed?

Your eye care provider can diagnose presbyopia by a thorough eye exam. An important part of this exam will be a refraction assessment to measure how well you see objects at specific distances. The refraction assessment tells your provider whether you have presbyopia and/or astigmatism and whether you are nearsighted or farsighted.

Your provider will likely dilate your eyes with special eye drops to get a better look into the inner parts of your eyes. The drops are painless, but you may be sensitive to light for two to three hours afterward. If you don’t have sunglasses, your doctor will provide some plastic, disposable sunglasses to wear. Ideally, try to bring a friend or family member to drive in case you are unable to immediately after the exam.

At age 40, if you have no symptoms of eye disease, you should schedule an eye exam every two to four years. As you age, your presbyopia gradually worsens, so you will want to schedule eye exams more often as you reach new milestone birthdays. By the time you reach 65, you will want to have eye exams annually. If you have family history of eye disease or diabetes, you should have an annual eye exam, regardless of age.

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