What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia describes natural aging changes in the lens of the eye that cause patients with great distance vision to need reading glasses and those with a distance prescription to need bifocals. When we enter our mid 40s, the lens of the eye starts to harden and when the focusing mechanism of the eye activates, the involuntary muscles of focus (accommodation) can no longer change the shape of the lens of the eye.


How Presbyopia Affects Your Eye

The process of accommodation slowly becomes less effective. This will affect patient’s differently depending on whether they are nearsighted, farsighted or emmetropic (good distance vision). Nearsighted patients will need to remove their glasses to read. Farsighted patients need reading glasses first and later need distance glasses as well. Patients with good distance vision start to need reading glasses. Presbyopia affects patients at different rates and at slightly different ages, but most everyone will become presbyopic.

Setting Expectations

The LASIK surgeons at SightMD in Long Island want our patients to understand presbyopia well. The reason why is that our board certified eye surgeons need our patients over the age of 45 to know that if we give them excellent distance vision with bladeless custom LASIK or iLASIK, they will likely still need glasses for reading. Most patients under the age of 40 will gain excellent vision for near and far because presbyopia has not yet occurred.

Most of our LASIK patients that have experienced presbyopia are still quite pleased with LASIK. Our eye doctors know that expectations are important, so we are careful to correctly set expectations in each individual case depending on the specific factors in that LASIK laser eye surgery patient.

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