Presbyopia

Definition of Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus, making it difficult to see objects up close.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The lens of the eye needs to change its length or shape to focus on smaller objects, or objects that get closer or farther away. This is called the elasticity of the lens. This elasticity is slowly lost as people age. The result is a slow decrease in the ability of the eye to focus on nearby objects.

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a general eye examination, including measurements to determine a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

Treatment

There is no cure for presbyopia, but it can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. In some cases, adding bifocals to an existing lens prescription is enough. As the ability to focus up close worsens, the bifocal prescription needs to be changed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Vision can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and FRanklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/24/2010

Farsighted

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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