I will never forget when my mother informed me that her eye doctor told her that she had “prehistoric eyes.” It took a moment for that to register, but I was able to figure out that her eye doctor probably said she had presbyopia. So, what is presbyopia?
Presbyopia is when our eyes gradually lose the ability to focus on things up close. It is a normal part of our aging process, and usually starts in our late 30’s or early 40’s. This forces us to have to hold things farther away and have better light for reading.
Our eyes have a lens that is flexible and changes shape to change focus from far to near objects. The lens inside the eye becomes less flexible as we age, and eventually we cannot change focus from distance to near. Currently, there is no way to stop the aging process to stop or reverse presbyopia. Presbyopia can be addressed by using reading glasses, bifocals, contact lenses, or surgery.
There are some interesting new therapies under investigation to help presbyopia. EV06 is an eye drop that is being investigated that could potentially halt or reverse lens hardening. This medication is in the very early stages of clinical studies, and the results are promising, but long-term safety has yet to be determined. Other eye drops like Liquid Vision and FOV Tears affect pupil size to trick our eyes to focus close easier are also being studied.
With new surgical techniques and medications on the horizon, we may be able to get rid of those pesky reading glasses or bifocals in the future.
Dr. James Ivanoski practices with Drs. Martha Jay and Mark German at Madison Medical Eye Care, now part of Madison Medical Affiliates. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.