As you reach your 40s and 50s, eye exams become more important. Certain conditions are more common with age, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. You may need your prescription for glasses or contacts updated more often, too. Another reason why eye exams become necessary is because of presbyopia, a common vision disorder that affects your ability to read up close.
Whether you are approaching age 40 or have celebrated this milestone already, make sure that you’ve schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Let’s learn more about how presbyopia is diagnosed and treated so that you can be prepared.
How is Presbyopia Diagnosed?
Presbyopia is diagnosed through a basic eye exam. This exam includes a refraction assessment and an eye health test. However, you will probably notice signs of the condition such as difficulty reading fine print.
The refraction assessment checks for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. During this test, you look through a pair of lenses and the ophthalmologist will ask which ones you can see out of best. The eye health exam is more involved and generally requires dilation. Once dilated, the eye specialist can see into your eyes.
Once you are between the ages of 40 and 54, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends having exams every two to four years – more if you have risk factors for eye disease or wear glasses or contacts.
Is There a Way to Treat Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is very common. The majority of people correct their vision by wearing eyeglasses, especially when trying to read small print. These traditional reading glasses can be purchased inexpensively and do not require a prescription.
If you already wear eyeglasses, you can opt for a special pair of glasses that have presbyopia lenses on the lower part. This way, you can read through the bottom lens and see regularly through the top lens. Other treatment options include bifocals, trifocals, bifocal contact lenses, and refractive surgery.
Presbyopia is a condition that progresses with age. Each person is different, so it’s possible that your eyesight will change minimally while your friend’s will change significantly. By seeing your ophthalmologist regularly, you can monitor the condition and ensure that you are using the right prescription.