During my first semester in optometry school, we learned about presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition everyone develops around the age of 40, in which the focusing system loses its power and it becomes difficult to read up close. You read that correctly, everyone. I remember thinking that someone at some point of my life probably should have told me that. They could have sprung it on us in middle school at one of the many health classes that paused our gym class for two weeks every year (Now, as long as we’re talking about your bodies changing, here’s what happens when you turn 40). Or maybe when we graduated high school (Here’s your diploma-by the way, you won’t be able to read it in about 20 years.) Or at the very least during my collegiate-level physiology class (And that is how the crystalline lens bends light to make a near object clear, as long as that lens is less than 40 years old).
Regardless of when we should find out about presbyopia, most of us find out about it in one of two ways. First, when the eye doctor starts to talk about bifocals. They respond ‘I’m too young for that’, then realize within the next few weeks that all of the print that they had once read up close with ease is getting smaller. The second gets hit by 40 like a ton of bricks. They wake up on their 40th birthday and can’t see their watch, have to hold menus at arm’s length, and have to switch their phone to “Fisher Price Mode” to make everything large enough to see. The first is convinced the world is conspiring against them and the second thinks some exotic disease is afflicting their eyes. If you’re reading this and you’re under 40, use this post as your warning of things to come. If you’re over 40, switch your phone from ‘Fisher Price Mode’ and come see us. While everyone eventually develops presbyopia, not everyone has to suffer from it. From progressive add no-line bifocals to multi-focal contacts, there is a large range of options to make your vision crisp at near and help you feel like Superman again.
Dr. Andrew Bolles
Southwest Vision Center
Four Convenient Locations:
Three Rivers, Michigan