Where Did My Near Vision Go?

That moment when you realize you can’t focus on a menu, your emails, or pretty much anything on your phone. It's called presbyopia, and it happens to everyone (yes, everyone) around the age of 40. Here's why there's no shame in the readers game.

By Gina Way
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Why Do Sudden Vision Changes Occur As We Age?

“As we reach our forties, the crystalline lens inside the eye starts to stiffen and thicken. As it becomes more inflexible, you lose the ability to autofocus on things at different focal lengths,” says Viola Kanevsky, an optometrist in New York City. As we age, we also need brighter light in order to see better up close, which is why you may have already broken down and used the dreaded flashlight app in a dimly lit restaurant. (FYI, you can lower the brightness on the app so it’s much less obvious and embarrassing.)  

How to Correct Near Vision

Nonprescription magnifiers are available at any drugstore for a quick fix for near vision problems, but it’s a good idea to visit an eye doctor for a proper exam. “It’s important to have your eyes tested for diseases like glaucoma, and establish a baseline prescription for your reading glasses,” says Kanevsky. A doctor can tell you which power to choose in an OTC pair, or you might need multifocal lenses that allow you to see at different near distances (reading on your laptop as opposed to a book, for example). 

So, if you become dependent on reading glasses will your eyes worsen at a faster rate? “Absolutely not,” says Kanevsky. “The lens in your eye loses a little more power every couple of years, and you can’t strengthen that lens by straining to see things up close.” So embrace your presbyopia, and use it as an excellent excuse buy a very cool pair (or two) of glasses. For groovy styles and a 15% discount on readers for readers of The Plum, go to Peepers.com and enter PLUM15 at checkout. 

 

 

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