Give Online: Help shape patient care for generations to come.
Cleveland Clinic Logo

Appointments

866.320.4573

Request an Appointment

Questions

800.223.2273

Contact us with Questions

Expand Content

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is part of the natural aging process of the eye, and can be easily corrected. Technically, presbyopia is the loss of the eye's ability to change its focus to see objects that are near. It is not a disease. It's as natural as wrinkles, and it affects everybody at some point in life. Presbyopia generally starts to appear around age 40.

Presbyopia is often confused with farsightedness, but the two are different. Presbyopia occurs when the eye's lens loses flexibility. Farsightedness occurs as a result of the shape of the eyeball, which causes light rays to bend incorrectly once they have entered the eye.

What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Blurred vision at a normal reading distance
  • The need to hold reading material at arm's length
  • Headaches from doing close work
  • Eye strain

How is presbyopia diagnosed?

An eye doctor can diagnose presbyopia by a thorough eye exam.

How is presbyopia treated?

Presbyopia cannot be cured. Instead, prescription glasses, contact lens, reading glasses, progressive addition lenses, or bifocals can help correct the effects of presbyopia.

Bifocals are often prescribed for presbyopia. Bifocals are eyeglasses that have two different prescriptions in one spectacle lens. The main part of the lens contains a prescription for nearsightedness or farsightedness, while the lower portion of the lens holds a stronger prescription to help a person see objects up close.

Progressive addition lenses are similar to bifocals, but have a more gradual shift between the two prescriptions.

Contact lenses that are used to treat presbyopia include multifocal lenses, which come in soft or gas permeable versions, and monovision lens, in which one eye wears a lens that aids in seeing objects at a distance, while the other has a lens that aids in near vision.

For patients who are having cataract surgery, there are new lens implants that offer partial correction for presbyopia as well as correcting for distance vision.

References

© Copyright 1995-2015 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.

Can't find the health information you’re looking for?

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 10/27/2015…#8577

Schedule an Appointment Online

Call us for an Appointment

To find a Cole Eye Institute specialist for your needs, contact us at 216.444.2020 (or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 42020)

Same-day Appointments

To arrange a same-day visit, call 216.444.CARE (2273)