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Home · Our Services · Presbyopia


Presbyopia is a natural aging process in which the eyes gradually lose the ability to see things up close. This is because when we are young the lens in the eye is soft and flexible and can change its shape to focus on objects both far away and up close. As we age, the lens becomes stiffer and cannot change its shape easily. Therefore, it is more difficult to focus clearly on close objects. One of the first symptoms a person may notice is the need to hold reading materials further away to see them more clearly. This usually begins around the age of 40, and if left uncorrected, can begin to cause eye fatigue and headaches.

Glasses can be used to compensate for loss of near vision. If you do not have any other refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism), you may only need glasses for up close. If you already have glasses to correct other refractive error, then you may need bifocals, trifocals, or progressive ("no-line") lenses. Contact lenses can sometimes be fitted to help with presbyopia either by using bifocal lenses or monovision (one eye set for distance, and the other set for near).  Refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK) cannot eliminate presbyopia, but some people choose monovision to give them some flexibility.  

The best choice of correction depends on your eyes and your own specific needs and can be discussed with the doctors at Southern Shores Eye Center after a complete eye examination.