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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Presbyopia + 7 Natural Ways to Improve Eye Health

Presbyopia - Dr. Axe

According to a study conducted by The Vision Council, 3 out of 4 adults in the United States wear some type of vision correction. Whether the correction is for those who are farsighted, nearsighted, have an astigmatism or other vision-related conditions, it is estimated that Americans spend over $40 billion each year on corrective lenses. The rates of presbyopia are on the rise in the United States and globally. It is projected that 2.1 billion people across the world will have this eye condition by 2020. (1)
While other vision problems can be the result of genetics, eye injury or an underlying disease, presbyopia is simply the result of aging and the most common vision problem for those over the age of 65. In Greek, presbyopia means “old eye” and while you can’t reverse the condition, you can improve your eye health. (2)
This vision problem sneaks up on you, with the first signs being holding a book, newspaper or menu farther and farther away so your eyes can focus. Eye strain symptoms may become more apparent, and you may notice an increased sensitivity to light, headaches, and a burning sensation.
A basic eye exam is all that is required for diagnosis, and this perfectly natural, age-related vision change can typically be treated effectively with contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses.
Even people with perfect 20/20 vision will start to notice changes in vision as they age. While it can begin as early as the 40s, you may not require corrective lenses until symptoms become more disruptive (or your arms just aren’t long enough to hold items far enough away for your eyes to focus!).

What Is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is the gradual loss of near vision caused by aging. It doesn’t affect your ability to focus on items in the distance. Symptoms start to become noticeable in your 40s and vision continues to worsen until about 65. (3)
While similar, presbyopia and hyperopia — or farsightedness — aren’t the same condition. But they do share many of the same conditions. If you’re farsighted, objects in the distance are in focus but objects up close are blurry. This condition is caused by an irregularly shaped eye that prevents the light from lining up with the retina. It is not a result of aging. (4)
On the other end of the spectrum, myopia — or nearsightedness — means that you have good near vision, but items in the distance are out of focus. This is caused by an irregular cornea or misshaped eye, and, like hyperopia, it is not age-related. (5)

Presbyopia Signs & Symptoms

  • Holding menus, magazines, books or other objects farther and farther away to make letters more clear and readable
  • Experiencing blurred vision at a normal reading distance
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light

Presbyopia Causes & Risk Factors

Presbyopia is caused when the lens that sits inside the eye, just behind the iris, hardens. In our younger years, this soft and malleable lens changes shape to focus the light on the retina, allowing us to see clearly up close. As it hardens, it cannot adjust as easily, resulting in poor passage of light to the retina and an inability to focus up close.
While considered an age-related eye condition, there are additional recognized risk factors that can cause early development, or faster development, in some people, including: (6)
  • Being over 40
  • Being female
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Anemia
  • Hyperopia
  • Eye trauma or injury
  • Myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disorder
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • Eating a poor diet
  • Diagnosis of decompression sickness from scuba diving
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Taking certain prescription drugs:
    • Antianxiety drugs
    • Antipsychotics
    • Antispasmodics
    • Antidepressants
    • Antihistamines
    • Diuretics

Conventional Treatment

An ophthalmologist diagnoses presbyopia through an eye examination that includes a refraction assessment and overall eye health exam. The refraction test determines whether vision changes experienced are caused by presbyopia, astigmatism or hyperopia. Dilation of the pupils may be necessary to allow the doctor to see more clearly into the eyes.
Conventional treatment options include corrective eyewear and surgery. For some, in the early stages, off-the-shelf, nonprescription reading glasses may do the trick to allow for reading objects up close. But chances are at that as the condition worsens, prescription corrective lenses will be necessary. Today, there is a wide range of corrective eyewear choices to treat vision problems. (7)

Corrective Lenses for Presbyopia

Reading glasses: Fixed rate of field, available without a prescription.
Bifocals: Contain two different lens powers or prescriptions, with the needed prescription for distance on top, and for reading and close-up work, on the bottom.
Trifocals: Contain three different lens strengths, with near or immediate range of field at the top, distance strength in the middle, and near strength again at the bottom.
Progressive Multifocals: Also known as a no-line bifocal (or trifocal) they have the added benefit of providing a seamless progression of a variety of lens strengths for all depths of field.
Monovision Contact Lens: One eye is corrected for distance, and the other eye is corrected for near vision. This can cause a distortion of depth perception and adversely affect intermediate vision.
If you have tear duct problems, dry eye, problems with eyelids, or Sjögren’s syndrome, contact lenses may not be the best choice.

  1 comment:

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