It’s 2021. What Can We Do About Presbyopia?
- Posted on: Mar 24 2021
Presbyopia is probably the single most frustrating “untreatable” condition right now to the general public. It’s the reason the iPhone font size goes up as you pass your 40th birthday, it’s the reason you have trouble reading a menu or your bill at a restaurant, it’s the reason your arms don’t feel long enough…and finally, it’s the reason you have to wear those…darn…reading glasses.
Presbyopia is not completely ‘untreatable’ but to the common person, the usual option is buying a pair of those lovely readers at their closest pharmacy, or to add bifocals to their existing prescription. We are here to tell you, there are sometimes better options!
Presbyopia is caused when the natural lens of your eye no longer changes shape with age. As your lens becomes less flexible and loses its elasticity, it can no longer change its shape to focus on close-up images. Therefore, the images appear out of focus, and you essentially become far-sighted and need reading glasses to see up close. This usually happens in patients ages 40 and up.
To learn more about Presbyopia, visit our Near Vision Page!
What is currently available for presbyopia?
While there are some others on the market, there are two long-term strategies that are most effective: refractive lens exchange and blended vision with laser vision correction.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) addresses the problem of presbyopia at the source: the natural lens itself. It is essentially the same procedure that we use for Cataract Removal, but instead, we are removing your lens (which has not reached cataract status yet – it’s not cloudy like a cataract yet) and replacing your natural lens with a new, high-end, multi-range of vision, intraocular lens. This RLE procedure resolves two issues – 1) your need for reading glasses aka, your presbyopia and 2) your future of gradually dimming vision until the cataract is “ready” for surgery.
The most Ideal RLE Candidates are:
- People who are presbyopic or have pre-cataract symptoms
- People who are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism
The only real issue for the majority of patients with RLE is usually the cost. There are so many intraocular lens options these days that the satisfaction rate after surgery is usually fairly high.
To learn more about Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), you can also click here and scroll to the bottom.
Blended Laser Vision Correction involves using LASIK or PRK to adjust one eye’s focal point to distance and another eye slightly closer to broaden the range. How much offset is ideal varies from person to person, and we want to personalize the best plan.
The most ideal Blended Laser Vision Correction Candidates are:
- People with good clarity to their now inflexible natural lens
- People who like blended vision (Not sure? We’re happy to let you trial the vision in the clinic at a free screening!)
Not sure which may be better for you? Don’t worry, we love reviewing everything to create the best, personalized plan at a free screening. Call 713-626-5544 or use the Contact Us page to request a time.
In addition to the well-established options above, our specialists at Slade & Baker Vision are often performing various clinical trials for new technologies at our Clinic in Houston, and have one that is currently available to treat presbyopia for those with cataracts.
This study is essentially Refractive Lens Exchange with an advanced, range-of-vision lens. This study has various requirements (including cataracts in both eyes), so you should read the inclusion and exclusion list to see if you qualify via our clinical trials page.
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