Presbyopia is a refractive disorder of the eye which occurs as you age. It affects your near vision, and not so much a disease as a natural age-related occurrence. The condition is often confused with far sightedness (hyperopia), but the two are different as presbyopia is caused due to aging when the natural lens of the eyes lose their flexibility over time, while farsightedness is caused due to the shape of the cornea’s curvature which causes incorrect focusing of light rays in the eyes.

As we age, the natural lenses in the eye gradually thicken and become less flexible. Changes in the proteins that make up the lens, as well as in the muscle fibres surrounding the lens makes them less elastic.

Presbyopia is a common eye disorder and occurs naturally, affecting almost everyone. It starts after the age of 40, and symptoms start with difficulty reading or looking at things close by.

At first, you may find yourself holding a book at a distance to read a magazine, book or newspaper. When working with something at close range, for instance embroidery or writing, you will feel that you have to squint or strain your eyes, causing headaches. Your vision will also be blurred at a normal reading distance. You will also find it difficult to read small print. 

Since presbyopia is a gradually progressive disorder, these symptoms will become more prominent over time. It will become difficult for you to see in dim light and all of the symptoms described above will worsen. ​

If you notice that your vision has become blurry for objects in close range, seek help from your eye doctor at The Aga Khan University Hospital.

You can be assured of receiving the best quality medical care at The Aga Khan University Hospital. Our expert and highly trained staff at the Eye and ENT Service Line can provide you with additional information and medical advice. We have an internationally accredited staff with which you can safely and privately discuss your symptoms, gain advice and receive personalized treatment and care. ​

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started. 

Diagnosis of presbyopia will be based on your medical history and eye examinations. Your doctor will check your vision with the help of a vision chart where you’ll be asked to read out different letters in various sizes.

A dilation exam will also be done for which special eye drops will be put in your eyes to help the eye dilate. This will help the doctor look inside your eye with the help of special instruments that will help identify any signs of presbyopia.

Besides this, you will also be asked to look through various lenses to help the doctor evaluate your vision at different ranges. 

You must get your eye sight checked regularly after the age of 40 to check for signs of presbyopia and get corrective treatment, if required. At The Aga Khan University Hospital, you can be assured of receiving top quality healthcare services to facilitate and help you with the diagnosis and treatment of your presbyopia. ​

Presbyopia cannot be prevented, though some measures can help protect your vision, such as:

  • Regular eye check-ups

  • Eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet with lots of leafy green vegetables

  • Protect your eyes from the sun with the help of sunglasses with ultraviolet protection

  • Use the right prescription glasses if you already have a refractive error in your eyes

  • Use good lighting when using your vision

  • Do not ignore sudden changes in vision and get yourself evaluated if you notice anything different about your vision

If you have been diagnosed with presbyopia, your doctor will prescribe corrective contact lenses or eye glasses to help improve your vision. Various types of eye glasses are now available, including bifocals and trifocals to help you with your vision at close, distant and mid-distance ranges. Different types of contact lenses may also be available, but you may not be prescribed lenses if you have disorders of the eye lids or with the eye surface.

Lens implants may also be a recommended treatment option for some people, in which your natural lenses will be replaced with synthetic ones

These procedures carry some potential risks and complications which must be discussed in detail beforehand. Talk with your doctor at The Aga Khan University Hospital about any treatment before you try it to find out how useful it might be. ​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage. ​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.