Near Vision, Cataracts & Presbyopia

Reviewed by:

Jason Jacobs, M.D. & Paul Koch, MD

Almost everyone who enters their 40’s begins to notice changes in their vision, especially their near vision, that signals the onset of Presbyopia. As we progress from our 40’s, to our 50’s and then our 60’s and beyond, it is also likely that besides the near vision effects of Presbyopia, we may also encounter the visual effects caused by the beginning of the formation of Cataracts. Even if you were blessed with excellent vision and healthy eyes throughout your life it is highly that your vision is likely to begin to change in these ways.

When we are younger, the Crystalline Lens is usually soft, flexible and “crystal” clear so that it has excellent transparency and optical clarity. The flexibility of the Crystalline Lens allows the lens to change its shape, and thus its optical power. The change in optical power of the Crystalline Lens is called “accommodation” and is responsible for enabling us to change the focus of our vision-from far to near, near to far, far to arm’s length-and back and forth whenever we might need clear vision at various distances. Presbyopia is the condition whereby there is a gradual but progressive loss of focusing ability, and thus the loss of the ability to achieve clear near vision. Presbyopia affects virtually all of us above the age of 40. Depending on the severity of the effects of Presbyopia, one can elect to have their near vision corrected with reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, progressive addition eyeglass lenses or bifocal contact lenses-and for those who have developed Cataracts, near vision presbyopia correcting lens implants. Virtually 100% of people who develop Cataracts, also have Presbyopia and difficulty with their near vision as well. This makes the option of near vision presbyopia correcting lens implants a potentially attractive vision correction option for those with Cataracts as they allow Cataract Surgeons to correct far, intermediate and near vision through the implantation of single lens and thus restore the optical effects of “accommodation” so that Presbyopia can be managed without total dependence on eyeglasses after Cataract Surgery.

The information that has been provided here is intended to give patients an overview of near vision, Presbyopia and Cataracts. It is possible that your individual situation might be different. None of the information provided here is meant to be a substitute or replace your physician’s consultation nor does it replace the need for you to consult with your surgeon about specific details of near vision, Presbyopia and Cataracts.

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