Presbyopia is one of the common eye disorders wherein the problem is found in the lens. The lens would normally function to give the eye a good focus, however, when presbyopia happens, the lens losses it capability to focus resulting to difficulty in perceiving the true sizes of objects especially when seen closely. The lens losses its elasticity making it difficult to shift the focus immediately.

Causative factors:

  1. Aging
  2. Eye trauma

Presbyopia can be expected to be a part of aging. By the age of 45 years old, people may start to complain difficulty in reading or the way they see things. This incidence can be slowly progressing until such time that there is a severe difficulty in focusing on objects.

Signs and symptoms:

  1. Frontal headache
  2. Eyestrain
  3. Complaints on lessened ability to properly focus on things

Diagnostic Procedure:

  1. The physician initially takes a history of the complaint. A history must be comprehensive in order to know how it was the patient is undergoing a change in the focus of the lenses.
  2. Examination of the retina is needed in order asses the way the lens focuses.
  3. Refraction test – This is an eye examination that involves a device that would be used in order to determine if an individual needs prescription glasses or contact lenses. This is a part of the routine in order to know if the vision is still normal that is in line with the 20/20 criteria.
  4. Slit-lamp test – This test is use to examine the conjunctiva, cornea, eyelids, iris and the lens. A small lens is placed near to the eye so that the back of the eye is visualized.
  5. Visual Acuity – An eye chart is placed with a distance of 20 feet. At random, the physician will point out letters or numbers in various sizes. The sizes represent the distance wherein you will have a difficulty in reading or the extent on how clear an individual can see.

Medical Management:

There is no treatment on presbyopia as it is part of the natural aging. However, the only way to cope with this is through prescription glasses. Contact lenses were also used in younger generations however, prescription glasses were more implied for older adults.

People who are in the age 65 may experience the severe part of presbyopia. They might need to hold things or reading materials closely.

Some people may also need only reading glasses. For individuals who might perceive using eye glasses to be a bit tasking, eye surgery can be indicated. Laser aided eye surgery are used. LASIK or laser in-situ keratomileusis is performed by licensed eye surgeons. It corrects error in lens refraction.  Possible side effects of LASIK surgery may involve dry eyes due to the medications given before the operation, discomfort in the optical area. It is recommended that patients should refrain from lifting weights after such operation in order to prevent eye strain.

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Byron Webb Romero, RN, MSN

Finished BSN at Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Master of Science in Nursing Major in Adult Health Nursing at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. Currently working at Manila Doctors College of Nursing as a Team Leader for Level I and II, Lecturer for Professional Nursing Subjects, and also a Clinical Instructor.

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