By Dr. Ryan W. Nelson
The most common reason for reading glasses in a person who has never needed them before is a phenomenon known as presbyopia. Presbyopia causes near vision blur when distance vision is either normal or corrected.
The cause for presbyopia is a faulty focusing system. The focusing system of the eye is made of two major components, the “lens” and the muscle that controls it called the “cilliary body”. The ciliary body is triggered to contract when focusing on objects at near and it directly controls the lens. It is ultimately the lens’ flexibility which allows us to see at both distance and near automatically. Over time, the lens becomes less flexible and is no longer able to focus light like it once could, which results in blurred vision.
In the optometry profession we say, “three things are certain: death, taxes… and presbyopia”. Given enough time, presbyopia catches up with us all. Most individuals will experience the early signs of presbyopia between 40 and 50 years old. It starts when you have to hold things further away in order to see them clearly.
Near vision blur is correctable with glasses and contact lenses. The difference is that now two prescriptions are needed: one for distance, and one for near. Let us help you at your next eye examination.