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Taking a Closer Look at Presbyopia

man wearing glassesAs  you approach middle age, you may start to experience difficulty with reading. (Being able to see clearly is an age related function of your vision which becomes weaker as you become older.)  Why? Because with age, the lens of your eye becomes increasingly inflexible, making it harder to focus on near objects. This is called presbyopia. (And it happens to everyone.)

To avoid eyestrain, people with untreated presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other tasks at close range, such as embroidery or handwriting could also cause headaches, eye strain or fatigue in individuals who have developed this condition. When it comes to correcting presbyopia there are a number of options available whether you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Reading glasses are only worn when you need to focus on handheld tasks, which can be good for those who already wear contacts or for people who don’t wear glasses for correcting distance vision. Although reading glasses are readily available at pharmacies or drugstores, it is not recommended to buy a pair until you have had a full vision examination.Too often "over-the-counter" reading glasses are helpful for short periods of reading but can cause eyestrain with prolonged use.   Custom made readers are often a better solution because many people have eye prescriptions that are different between the two eyes, or have astigmatism.  Also the optic centres of the lenses are custom sized to the person who wears them, and the reading distance is set to where a person wants it.   If you don’t want to switch back and forth between pairs of glasses, consider bifocal or multi- focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses (PALs). These are eyeglasses that have separate points of focus; the bottom portion has the prescription for focusing at close range. 

If you wear contacts, speak to us about multifocal contact lenses or a treatment approach called monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.   Presbyopia affects people even after refractive surgery, so it is good to understand all the options before making a decision on vision care.  Ask your eye doctor for an unbiased opinion.

Your lens continues to change as you grow older, so expect your prescription to be increased over time. Speak to your eye doctor about dealing with presbyopia in the way that meets your specific needs.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

www.albertahealthservices.ca

www.collegeofoptometrists.ab.ca

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan