What is Presbyopia

Do I have Presbyopia?


Does this sound familiar – As you got older you realised you could no longer see as clearly as you once did. Fast forward and your limbs don’t seem to be long enough to hold out that menu you used to read at arm’s length. You are starting to depend on those glasses, that you hate admitting you need to wear. You resent that they are always downstairs, upstairs, in the car or in your purse. You always had great vision and wonder how you ended up here!


…You very likely have Presbyopia.

Presbyopia is an age-related vision disorder that is considered a natural part of ageing. It affects the sight of 1.3 million Australians and sets o a cycle of “glasses on, glasses off, glasses on” as your prescription gets worse, and your lenses get thicker and thicker

What Causes Presbyopia?


Your clear lens sits inside the eye behind your coloured iris. It changes shape to focus light onto the retina so you can see. When you are young, the lens is soft and flexible, easily changing shape. This lets you focus on objects both close-up and far away. After age 40, the lens becomes more rigid. It cannot change shape as easily. This makes it harder to read, thread a needle, or do other close-up tasks.

There is no way to stop or reverse the normal ageing process that causes presbyopia.

The symptoms of presbyopia typically involve a gradual deterioration in your ability to read or do work up close.


Common symptoms of presbyopia are:

  • having eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close work
  • having difficulty reading small print
  • having fatigue from doing close work
  • needing brighter lighting when reading or doing close work
  • needing to hold reading material at an arm’s distance to focus properly on it
  • overall problems seeing and focusing on objects that are close to you
  • squinting