As time goes on and people enter their 40’s, most start to lose the ability to focus at near. This process is called presbyopia. Presbyopia is when the natural lens within the eye gradually becomes less flexible thereby diminishing its ability to change shape which allows one to focus for near vision. Presbyopia is a gradual process which occurs throughout one’s life. It usually becomes symptomatic in our 40’s and levels off at around age 65. As the near vision becomes blurrier and affects tasks such as reading, one begins to require glasses. There is also the option of wearing contact lens to correct the vision. One can wear a lens focused for reading in one eye and distance in the other. This is known as monovision. There are also multifocal contact lenses available which can focus for both near and distance at the same time.
If one is tired of dealing with eyeglasses or contact lenses, there are surgical options for correcting presbyopia. Unfortunately, laser corrective procedures such as iLASIK and PRK are used mainly for correcting distance vision. If one has a cataract which may require cataract surgery in the near future, this may present a good opportunity to correct presbyopia. Cataract Surgery is when the clouded natural lens within the eye is surgically removed and replaced by an intraocular lens implant. The basic intraocular lens implants are monofocal which means that one can be set for either distance or near vision, but not both at the same time. Multifocal intraocular lens implants are now available which allows one to be able to focus at both near and distance without the need for eyeglasses. At North Shore Eye Care, our cataract surgeons offer our patients the latest in intraocular lens implant technology such as Abbott’s Tecnis Multifocal lens implant and Alcon’s Restor lens implant. If you are contemplating cataract surgery in the near future and desire to be able to read, drive, and watch TV without the aid of eyeglasses, please make an appointment today at North Shore Eye Care / Hampton Eye for a comprehensive eye exam to find out if you are a good candidate for a multifocal intraocular lens implant.