Improving quality of life with ageing eyes

VISION MATTERS

Have you ever wondered at your early 40’s, your vision is blurred when you read, use your cell phone or inserting a thread in the needle? But when you extend your arm it clears up and after a certain period, it doesn’t work anymore? This is because of “Presbyopia”. In layman’s term means “aged eyes”. It is due to age-related and irreversible changes in the lens of the eye causing near blurred vision, drowsiness, eyestrain and doubling of vision.  In some eyes, the onset is early because of excessive near activities like prolonged hours of reading and the use of digital screens.

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), uncorrected presbyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment. Globally, there are approximately 1.04 billion people with presbyopia, of which 517 million have visual impairment because they don’t have “reading glasses”. There is a profound impact on the individual’s ability to accomplish near activities if their vision is not corrected. The burden of blurred near vision due to lost productivity has been estimated to be approximately USD14 billion annually and this decreases the quality of life.

Usually, presbyopia is best managed with custom-made eyeglasses because we take into account the individual’s exact prescription including the distance prescription (nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatism), their close work demands and the pupillary distance (distance between the two eyes). Ready-made eyeglasses serve a reasonable alternative. The quality of life will be improved if we see better when our eyes age. That’s why I recommend a comprehensive eye examination by a duly registered Optometrist to be assessed appropriately.