Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the shape of the crystalline lens of your eye changes. These changes make it difficult to focus on close objects.

Causes & risk factors

Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, but sight reduction occurs over several years. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s, but the reduction of your focus starts as early as childhood.


Some signs of presbyopia include holding reading materials at arm's length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work.


A comprehensive eye exam will include testing for presbyopia.


To help you compensate for presbyopia, your doctor of optometry can prescribe reading glasses, multifocal glasses or contact lenses. Presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Your doctor will determine the specific lenses to allow you to see clearly and comfortably. You may only need to wear your glasses for close work like reading, but you may find that wearing them all the time is more convenient and helpful. The effects of presbyopia will continue over your lifetime. Therefore, you may need to periodically change your eyewear to maintain clear and comfortable vision.


Monovision is a treatment often prescribed for people age 40 and older who are affected by presbyopia. With the monovision treatment, the patient wears a contact lens for near or intermediate vision on one eye and, if needed, a lens for distance vision on the other eye. This allows you to see clearly at a multitude of different distances.

For successful monovision treatment, talk to your doctor of optometry about your occupation and which tasks are especially important for you to be able to see clearly.


Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It is not a disease, and it cannot be prevented.

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