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All About Presbyopia


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.

Contact your Olathe, KS Optometrist to Learn More About Treatment Options

Many adults experience presbyopia or a reduced ability to focus on objects that are close, as they age. With the growing international population reaching older ages, a significant number of people develop the condition, which is an unavoidable result of your aging eye.

Theories about the cause of presbyopia are that the eye will begin to harden around the age of forty, making it more difficult for the eyes to focus on an object, especially an object close by. Sufferers usually cope with near visual impairment by holding a book away from their eyes or standing away from the object they are looking at. Transitions from looking at distant objects to closer ones can often be straining for people with presbyopia. The strain could worsen the situation by causing headaches, eye strain or fatigue.

Most commonly bifocals or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are used to deal with presbyopia. Bifocal lenses are divided into two prescriptions for vision, the main part of the lens has a prescription for distance vision and a second, lower portion for focusing on things nearby. Progressive addition lenses work similarly to bifocals, but the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual. Wearers will more easily shift focus, as they would if they had standard vision. Another option is reading glasses which are usually worn just when needed as opposed to all day.

If contacts are preferred over eyeglasses, you might want to consider multifocal contacts. Multifocal lenses don't work for everyone and can sometimes cause discomfort or vision difficulties, so it may take a while to determine if and in what combination they work for you.

In addition, there are options for other procedures including surgery available that should be talked over with your optometrist. A significant number of patients find the most success by combining options for presbyopia. Also, because your eyesight will likely deteriorate as you get older, it is likely that you will need to keep adjusting your prescription. The good news is, there is quite a bit of research being done to identify additional effective treatments for presbyopia.

Noticing signs of presbyopia? Call for a visit with your Olathe, KS optometrist. Better vision is worth it!