Are you over 40 and suddenly want to strain to read things right in front of your face?
Eye experts at the Mayo Clinic say it’s actually a normal – and sometimes annoying – eye condition that is part of aging.
If you’re over 40 and your vision is starting to get blurry, you’re not alone.
“It happens to 100% of humans. I’ve never seen a patient who doesn’t become presbyopic. That’s really the term we use for it,” says Dr. Muriel Schornack, optometrist at the Mayo Clinic.
Presbyopia is a progressive loss of the ability of your eyes to focus on nearby objects. It usually becomes noticeable in your early 40s and gets worse until the mid-60s.
It is caused by the lens of your eye hardening as you age. As your lens becomes less flexible, it can no longer change shape to focus on close-up images.
“It’s like falling off a cliff. But it’s really a process that’s been going on for a very long time,” says Dr. Schornack.
A basic eye exam can confirm presbyopia. Glasses or contact lenses can correct the situation.
“I sometimes joke with patients that you will have a three month period in your life where you go from ‘Well, yeah, sure I can see that’ to ‘Oh, my God. There is written on it? ‘We all have a little moment of truth, where we go,’ Oh, that really doesn’t work anymore. Either I need reading glasses’ or if you’re already wearing a distance correction – ‘I need bifocals.’ “