Q: I’m a 47-year-old female, and recently have had trouble seeing up close. What is happening to my vision?


A: Your visual complaint is very normal in patients over the age of 40. You most likely suffer from presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition in which the natural lens of the eye loses its ability to change shape and focus, making it difficult to see objects up close. The most common symptom of presbyopia is having to hold objects further away to see small print clearly. Eventually, vision will continue to deteriorate to the point that reading glasses are required. If a patient has good distance vision, usually only reading glasses are required. In patients who are naturally nearsighted (near vision is good, distance vision is bad), the patient will be able to prolong needing reading glasses because of their nearsightedness. You may also see nearsighted patients wearing glasses for distance, and then taking them off to read. Eventually, both near and farsighted patients will most likely need to bifocals. For patients that wish to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses, we can perform monovision LASIK or refractive lens exchange, which allows many patients to function well without the need for any type of visual aid.