What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia occurs when you need to have reading glasses as time goes by and it’s one of the inevitabilities of getting older. They can be treated extremely well, if you carry out, for example, refractive lens exchange, so replacing your natural lens in your eye. This is also particularly helpful if you need glasses for distance because you can combine the treatments for both. The options for you are for you to have your master eye, which is usually set for distance, and your non-dominant eye set for reading.

What I was asked patients to do is to try contact lenses for 2 or 3 days to see whether that system will work. Usually, this gives the best quality of vision in terms of surgical outcome. If they can’t tolerate monovision, another option is to use bifocal or multifocal intraocular lenses, and these are very effective at giving people good distance and what I would call near-intermediate vision.

So it’s great if you are looking at your phone, if you’re looking at your computer or if you are cooking or eating. And the typical thing is, you go out to a restaurant, you don’t have to take reading glasses with you, so you can actually look at the menu and see what you’re eating without having to muck about putting glasses on and off.

The other options are for, usually in younger people, where they don’t have any significant lens opacity or cataract, to consider laser correction. It’s a technique called blended vision, which will again give you a degree of depth of focus and to enable you not to be dependent on middle distance or reading glasses.

More about Paul Rosen

Paul Rosen is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in laser eye surgery, cataract surgery, and the treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal diseases. He has over 20 years experience in treating people with eye problems. Paul is invited to lecture on cataract and refractive surgery both nationally and internationally. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. Paul has served as the President of the UK and Ireland Society of Refractive Surgeons and is currently the President of the European Society of Corneal and Refractive Surgery. More recently I’d been appointed as a member of the NICE Cataract Guidelines Committee and also on the Refractive Surgery Subcommittee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.