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What is presbyopia?

Andy Rosenfarb, LAc, ND
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Presbyopia is aging of the eyes; it affects a person's ability to see up close and usually occurs around age 40. In this video, naturopathic doctor and holistic eye specialist Andy Rosenfarb, ND, describes presbyopia and why it happens as we age.
Laura C. Fine, MD
Ophthalmology
Presbyopia -- coined from the Greek words for "old sight" -- is a loss in the eye's focusing ability that may start as early as the late 30s, but typically develops in the 40s and 50s, eventually affecting everyone. It occurs when the aging lens becomes more rigid and less efficient in bending to accommodate changes in near and distant focus. An accompanying lag in the function of the ciliary eye muscles contributes to the difficulty in seeing small print.
Presbyopia is a condition in which your eyes gradually lose the ability to see things up close.
It is not a disorder or disease but rather a natural aging process of the eye. Presbyopia literally means “old eye” in Greek.
You may start to notice presbyopia around the age of 40, when you begin to hold reading materials farther away from your face in order to see them more clearly. This familiar event is often the first sign of presbyopia, which, if left uncorrected, can cause eye fatigue and headaches.
No exercise or medication can reverse presbyopia. You will need reading glasses or bifocals to help your eyes focus. The lens continues to harden, so you will need to change prescriptions as you grow older.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.