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.
Journalist Jason Howland explains in today’s Mayo Clinic Minute.
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.’ “
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