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Focusing on 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.

Alas, experiencing difficulty reading is an extremely common occurrence in middle aged people. Having the ability to see things that are up close is an age related function of your vision which gets weaker as you become older. Here's why: As time passes, your eye's lens becomes less flexible, decreasing your ability to focus on near objects. This is known as presbyopia. And it's universal.

People with untreated presbyopia tend to hold printed text at arm's length to be able to focus properly. Performing other close-range tasks, such as needlepoint or handwriting, may also cause eyestrain. When it comes to correcting presbyopia, you have a number of options, whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.

Reading glasses are great but are mostly efficient for contact lens wearers or for people who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. You can purchase these glasses basically anywhere, but it is not recommended to buy them until you have the advice of your optometrist. The reason for this is that reading glasses may help for brief periods of reading but they can cause eyestrain with prolonged use. Custom made readers are often a better solution. These can do a number of things, like fix astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of the lenses are made to suit whoever is wearing them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.

If you already wear glasses for myopia, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which are quite popular. Essentially, these are eyeglasses with more than one point of focus, and the lower part of the lens contains a prescription to give you the ability to focus at close range. If you already wear contacts, it's recommended to talk to your eye care professional to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique which is called monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.

Since your sight continues to change as you grow older, you should anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. However, it's also important to examine your various choices before you decide the direction you want head in when it comes to your vision; presbyopia can affect you, even if you've had refractive surgery.

Ask your optometrist for an informed perspective. We can give you the tools to help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that's both beneficial and accessible.