Presbyopia treatments; glasses and contact lenses
Providing you don’t have any other eye problems, the simplest presbyopia treatment is wearing glasses. If your eyesight is otherwise OK, or if you wear contact lenses, getting some reading glasses for close work is straightforward. You can even buy some over the counter.
If you already wear glasses to improve your long-distance vision, you may be need bifocal or varifocal lenses as presbyopia treatment to correct both your short- and long-distance vision at the same time, depending on which part of the lens you look through. Alternatively, you may prefer to have two pairs of glasses, one for reading and one for distance vision. People who are 40-something often feel ‘too young’ for bifocals!
Contact lenses can also be a useful form of presbyopia treatment. You may be prescribed bifocal contact lenses, or you may be given monovision lenses. In this case, one contact lens corrects for near vision and the other for distance vision. Your brain soon adapts to this type of presbyopia treatment, making it possible to see both near and far easily, and allowing you to wear the same contact lenses for all activities.
Presbyopia treatment using laser surgery
Traditional eye laser surgery, which changes the shape of the cornea to correct vision, is not an effective presbyopia treatment. This is because presbyopia affects the lens of the eye, not the cornea. However, conductive keratoplasty, a relatively new type of laser presbyopia treatment, is now available in some clinics. In fact, this is not strictly an eye laser treatment; it involves the use of radio waves. Heat from the radio waves tightens the minute fibres on the surface of the eye. This type of presbyopia treatment is usually performed as a ‘blended vision’ treatment, giving primarily long-distance vision in one eye and short-distance vision in the other, as with monovision lenses.