What is presbyopia?

According to the National Eye Institute, Presbyopia is a common type of vision disorder that occurs as you age, affecting everyone over the age of forty. It is often referred to as the aging eye condition. Presbyopia results in the inability to focus up close, a problem associated with refraction in the eye. However, at Yolia, presbyopia is more than that.

Presbyopia is one of the most prevalent and most difficult refractive problems in vision to correct. It is an age-related physiological change that occurs in the eyes of aging adults resulting in the loss of accommodation. Some of the anatomical changes occur due to hardening or loss of elasticity of the lens, continued growth of the lens, and atrophy of the ciliary muscles surrounding the lens. The mechanisms by which one becomes presbyopic are not well understood. There are several theories to explain presbyopia, but many often refer to Helmholtz theory of accommodation, where anatomical changes prevent the normal steepening of the crystalline lens during close focus. The only treatment available for the inability of the eye to focus up close are reading glasses and pushing some into seeking surgical options for vision correction.

Many people, especially those that are active, find wearing reading glasses as unappealing. Many procedures are available. Among these are non invasive options such as reading glasses, bifocal glasses, bifocal contact lenses and monovision correction (using a corrective contact lens for one eye for distance and the contralateral eye for near vision). Surgical options include monovision correction (refractive correction for the dominant eye for distance), accommodating implants, such as IOLs and phakic intraocular implants as well as multifocal lens replacement of the natural crystalline lens for cataracts. Another treatment involves monovision corneal molding (orthokeratology), which temporarily (12 to 24 hours) increases corneal curvature (steepening) in one eye, creating myopia and allows for near vision in that eye. The downfall is distance vision will appear blurry. These procedures are cumbersome (glasses, contact lenses), invasive (any of the surgical procedures), and do not provide a complete solution for a clear near and distance vision.

Finding a mainstay treatment for presbyopia has often been described as the ‘last frontier’ of eye care, and estimates project the potential market for a viable solution to presbyopia to be larger than today’s LASIK market.

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