The origin of the word “presbyopia” is two Greek words “presbys” and “opia”, which mean “old man” and “eye”, respectively. So presbyopia is also called elder eye, and it is an eye problem where the eyes are not able to focus on near objects. For examples, people have difficulty in reading newspapers or other fine print, especially in low light condition. Presbyopia is a symptom caused by the natural course of aging, and it is very common among elders. Presbyopia usually first occurred between the ages of 40 to 50. The mechanisms of presbyopia have not been known exactly. It may be caused by a loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens or the changes in the lens’s curvature from continual growth and loss of power of the ciliary muscles.
Similar to another kind of eye problem called myopia (nearsightedness), presbyopia can be corrected by eye glasses or contact lenses. Because it is considered as a part of the human aging process, just like grey hair or death, presbyopia is not routinely curable. However, people with presbyopia can choose surgical procedures, including IOLs.
Presbyopia is the opposite condition of myopia. So people with myopia are usually able to read without eyeglasses or contact lenses even after age 40, although their nearsightedness may not disappear. This is the payoff of nearsightedness. Due to the disadvantage of being presbyopic after age of 40, refractive surgery for correcting myopia are not suggested. Because people with refractive surgery may become presbyopia, and they need to use glasses for reading.
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