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All You Need to Know About Presbyopia: Q&A With Optometrist, Michele Koss


Those that have never struggled with their vision before may have preconceptions about wearing glasses for the first time - such as if they might make their eyes worse, or if it is safe to wear them.


We sat down with our very own Michele Koss, Optometrist at our Brockenhurst practice, to chat about presbyopia and debunk some common misconceptions.


Q) So Michele, what is presbyopia?


A) Presbyopia is a common eye condition where the eyes become less able to focus on nearby objects.


This happens as we age; the lenses in our eyes gradually stiffen and become less flexible, making it difficult for the eyes to adjust to varying distances, particularly things at close range.


Q) What are the common symptoms of presbyopia?


A) Presbyopia can affect anyone over the age of 40. Typical symptoms are blurred vision, eye strain and headaches after reading or doing close up work.


If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, squinting to focus on nearby objects or holding things further away to see them clearly, book an appointment at your local branch and we’ll be happy to help.


Q) What glasses should I wear to correct presbyopia?


A) There are lots of options available depending on what you use your glasses for most, or if you want to wear them all the time or not. Most people with presbyopia wear reading glasses or occupational lenses for part-time use, or varifocal "progressive" lenses if they want to wear them all the time or need help seeing at all distances. Many people with presbyopia choose progressive lenses, as they enable you to see clearly without visible bi-focal lines in the lenses.


Q) Can I wear contact lenses to correct presbyopia?


A) Yes, some people prefer wearing contact lenses. They can be worn successfully as the main form of vision correction or else occasionally for sport and social situations. Multifocal contact lenses can help you see near, mid and far vision. There is also an option called mono-vision, where one contact lens is prescribed for near vision and the other contact lens for distance. When worn together, both distance and near vision is corrected.



Q) I've never needed glasses before. Should I be worried there is something wrong with my eyes?


A) No, needing glasses to correct presbyopia is just a normal part of getting older. It is nothing to worry about. It can feel a bit concerning when you have never needed glasses before and suddenly find you need to, but it is perfectly normal. It is important to have regular eye exams to monitor and manage any changes in vision, especially as you age.


Q) Won't wearing glasses make my eyes lazy and my vision worse?


A) No, there’s no evidence to suggest that wearing glasses will make your eyes lazy and vision worse. In fact, the opposite is true! Wearing glasses helps to prevent your vision from getting worse. Think of it as if your eyes are running on a treadmill. When they don't have the correct prescription in front of them they are having to work really hard to compensate and will get worn out more easily. Wearing the correct glasses means they can turn the speed down and run for longer without getting worn out too quickly!


Q) Do I need to take my glasses off to give my eyes a break?


A) No, removing your glasses will strain your eyes and tire them out, rather than giving them a break. Instead, regularly wearing your glasses will prevent eye strain, headaches and give you optimum vision.


If you are experiencing symptoms associated with presbyopia, or want reassurance about your eye health, book an appointment at your local branch.


Michele and her specialist team will conduct a thorough eye examination and provide a free consultation to find the right frame to complement your individual features, skin tone and face shape.

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