Presbyopia is the term for the normal aging of the lens in the eye and the muscles that control the shape of the lens. This commonly occurs after age 40, when the lens of the eye becomes more rigid and does not flex as easily. This results in difficulty reading at close range. Presbyopia can also be combined with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.
Patients with presbyopia often have difficulty seeing objects up close, finding that near objects appear blurred. These patients are generally prescribed bifocals.
The treatment of presbyopia with the excimer laser is limited. It’s important to note that, at this time, laser surgery does not eliminate the need for reading glasses in patients with presbyopia. Some of these patients opt for monovision, where one eye is corrected for near vision, while the other eye is corrected for distance. Intraocular lenses have been developed, and new ones are being developed that provide patients with options for the correction of presbyopia.