Presbyopia, or near vision loss, is a natural process and occurs when we no longer are able to focus on near objects when reading, texting or working. Presbyopia starts to occur around age 45 and results when your natural lens and surrounding structures become more rigid or stiff, preventing normal focusing.
You may have difficulty reading or focusing on small print. During the early stages of near vision loss, we tend to hold objects farther away to ease the strain of focusing…but at some point our arms become too short.
When reading, small muscles reshape our natural lens to allow us to focus at near. With time, the natural lens becomes more rigid and stiff making it more difficult to change shape. In addition, the muscles we use to focus actually become weaker with age. This dual affect results in near vision loss.
Patients who are near-sighted may notice that near vision is sharper and clearer when removing their glasses. A common misconception is that they have escaped this normal aging phenomenon. Near-sighted patients do suffer presbyopia…with their glasses or contact lenses in place!
The usual “treatment” of presbyopia includes reading glasses, bifocals or trifocals. Some patients will consider a “monovision” system, e.g. where one eye sees well at distance and a contact lens is placed in the other eye for reading.
Two procedures, or eye surgeries, have recently been FDA approved for the treatment of near vision loss. Our practice performed the first Raindrop Near Vision Inlay in the Washington, DC area. Raindrop is “indicated” for patients over 41 year old who have presbyopia. The results have been fabulous and I believe will become as popular as LASIK has been for correcting distance vision.
The Symfony Intraocular Lens Implant has been approved for patients with cataracts AND presbyopia. A standard intraocular lens implant (IOL) does not improve distance or intermediate distance. The Symfony IOL has state-of-the-art optical zones allowing for quality near, intermediate and distance vision.
The Symfony Intraocular lens is inserted at the time of cataract surgery and is used instead of the standard “monofocal” intraocular lens implant.
Certain patients may also benefit from blended laser vision correction, a modified laser vision correction procedure to improve near vision.
Mark Whitten, M.D.
Shilpa Rose, M.D.
Laser Vision Correction
Raindrop Inlay for Near Vision Loss