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Presbyopia

8 Ways Your Eyes Change With Age

Our eyes and vision change with age. Your eye doctor can monitor these changes — some of which are a natural part of the aging process — and identify any eye conditions or diseases early enough to treat them and prevent vision loss. Read on to learn more about the different types of eye changes one may encounter with age.

Age-Related Eye Conditions and Diseases

Cataracts

If your vision is starting to get blurry, you may be developing cataracts. There are a few types of cataracts, but the one usually caused by aging is known as a “nuclear cataract”. At first, it may lead to increased nearsightedness or even a temporary improvement in your reading vision. But with time, the lens gradually turns more densely yellow and clouds your vision. As the cataract slowly progresses, the lens may even turn brown. Advanced yellowing or browning of the lens can lead to difficulty distinguishing between shades of color, and left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness. Luckily, cataract surgery, where the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear lens, is an extremely safe and effective treatment option.

Blepharoptosis

Blepharoptosis or ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid that may affect one or both eyes. The eyelid may droop only slightly or may droop enough to cover the pupil and block vision. It occurs when there is a weakness of the eye’s levator muscle that lifts the eyelid. This condition is usually caused by aging, eye surgery, or disease affecting the muscle or its nerve. Fortunately, blepharoptosis can be corrected with surgery.

Vitreous detachment

This occurs when the gel-like vitreous fluid inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing “spots and floaters” and, sometimes, flashes of light. This occurrence is usually harmless, but floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a detached retina — a serious problem that can cause blindness, and requires immediate treatment. If you experience sudden or worsening flashes and increased floaters, see Dr. Vakani immediately to determine the cause.

Other Age-Related Changes

In addition to the above eye conditions and diseases, the structure of our eyes and vision change as we get older.

Presbyopia

Why do people in their 40s and 50s have more difficulty focusing on near objects like books and phone screens? The lens inside the eye begins to lose its ability to change shape and bring near objects into focus, a process is called presbyopia. Over time, presbyopia, also known as age-related farsightedness, will become more pronounced and you will eventually need reading glasses to see clearly. You may need multiple prescriptions – one prescription to enable you to see up close, one for intermediate distance, and one for distance vision. In that case, people often get bifocals, multifocals or PALs, and they can be combined with contact lenses as well.

Reduced pupil size

As we age, our reaction to light and the muscles that control our pupil size lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting. The result? It becomes harder to clearly see objects, such as a menu, in a low-light setting like a restaurant.

Dry eye

Our tear glands produce fewer tears and the tears they produce have less moisturizing oils. Your eye doctor can determine whether your dry eye is age-related or due to another condition, and will recommend the right over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, or other effective and lasting treatments, to alleviate the dryness and restore comfort.

Loss of peripheral vision

Aging causes a 1-3 degree loss of peripheral vision per decade of life. In fact, one may reach a peripheral visual field loss of 20-30 degrees by the time they reach their 70s and 80s. While peripheral vision loss is a normal part of aging, it can also indicate the presence of a serious eye disease, like glaucoma. The best way to ascertain the cause is by getting an eye exam.

Decreased color vision

The cells in the retina responsible for normal color vision tend to decline as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable. Though a normal part of aging, faded colors can at times signal a more serious ocular problem.

Beyond the normal changes that come with age, the risk of developing a serious eye disease, such as age related macular degeneration and glaucoma, increases. Routine eye exams are essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Your eye doctor can determine whether your symptoms are caused by an eye problem or are a normal byproduct of aging.

If you or a loved one suffers from impaired vision, we can help. To find out more and to schedule your annual eye doctor’s appointment, contact Corktown Eyecare in Toronto today.

What You Should Know About Fitting Bifocal & Multifocal Contacts

After age 40, most people will experience presbyopia, a very common vision condition linked to aging. Typically, it becomes difficult to see objects close to your eyes clearly. Activities such as reading fine print or doing detailed craftwork become very challenging. Presbyopia is a normal part of aging caused by a loss of flexibility in your eye’s natural lens.

In the past, the classic treatment for presbyopia was to wear bifocals or reading glasses. However, a lot of people are resistant to putting on this unsightly eyewear. Fortunately, there are now alternative treatments that work just as well to correct presbyopia and provide crisp vision close-up. Multifocal contacts are a great option for many patients, and our eye doctors are experienced in fitting patients with multifocal contact lenses in Toronto. Contact us to book your contact lens eye exam and fitting at our Corktown Eyecare office.

Contact Lenses for Presbyopia

Wearing contacts gives a level of freedom that glasses cannot achieve. With multifocal contacts, you can gaze in any direction and benefit from sharp vision. In contrast, with multifocal eyeglasses, you’ll need to move your eyes upward to see into the distance and downward to read a book. We offer a range of bifocal and multifocal contact lenses in Toronto, including soft and rigid gas permeable types.

Bifocal versus Multifocal Contacts

What’s the difference between these two types of lenses? Bifocals are divided into two sections with different lens powers – one part for distance and one for seeing up close. With these lenses, you will be able to switch between far and near effectively, yet it may be impossible for you to focus on anything at a middle range away from your eyes. In comparison, multifocals have many built-in lens powers, thereby enabling you to switch between far, near, and in-between with more flexibility.

Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses in Greensboro

Multifocals come in a variety of designs:

  1. Simultaneous Vision Lenses allow you to see both distance and close simultaneously – as the name states. After a rapid adjustment period, your eyes will learn to use only the part of the lens that is required for focusing on what you want to see.

Simultaneous vision lenses come in a concentric ring design and aspheric design. The most basic type is concentric, which is constructed with a central circle that has one vision power and an outer ring that has the alternate lens power. Extra rings can be added to form a multifocal contact lens, and the edges are blended to provide a smooth visual experience.

  1. Aspheric design Lenses blend many vision powers over the entire surface of the lens. Lens powers for both near and far are situated in the central area, and your eyes will adjust naturally to use the part of the lens that’s needed to see clearly.
  2. Translating/Alternating Vision Lenses are available only in hard, gas permeable versions. They are made with separate zones – top and bottom – and your eye will move to the necessary zone to see. Since contacts move around within your eye, these lenses are anchored in place with a thicker weighted area at the bottom of the lens, which aligns the lens with your lower eyelid.

Contact Lens Options: Daily vs extended blog

DAILY WEAR CONTACTS EXTENDED WEAR CONTACTS
Quick and easy adaptation period Quick and easy adaptation period
Comfortable wearing Comfortable when first inserted, yet may become itchy or blurry towards the end of the wearing time
Regular daily wear lenses must be removed and cleaned nightly Lenses must be removed and cleaned according to your eye care provider’s guidelines. Leaving contact lenses in while sleeping isn’t for everyone; for many people, it increases the risk of eye complications and infection
Daily cleaning doesn’t allow deposits, allergens and airborne irritants to accumulate easily on your lenses. Disposable dailies are even better, because discarding them nightly makes buildup impossible Protein deposits, allergens and airborne irritants can build up on the lenses easily since they are not cleaned or removed daily
Daily disposables do not need to be cleaned, which saves time and money spent on disinfectant solutions. There are also many eye health benefits to single-use lenses. Must be removed and cleaned generally after every 6 – 7 nights, according to your eye care provider’s instructions. Not following this wearing schedule can lead to eye problems
Wearing schedule is simple, and no calendar reminders are needed. Cleaning or discarding daily lenses must be done each night. Need calendar reminders about when to remove and disinfect your lenses
Available for a wide range of vision conditions Available for a wide range of vision conditions

Bring Your Book Close to Your Eyes Again!

Are you tired of holding books and restaurant menus far from your eyes in order to see the words, but you don’t want to put on reading glasses? We offer many types of presbyopia treatment at Corktown Eyecare; schedule an appointment for an eye exam and to find out if you’re a good candidate for multifocal contact lenses in Toronto.

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Eye Exams Are Important Even With 20/20 Vision

Annual Eye Exams Are Essential for Adults & Kids

Can I Get Sunglasses With Progressive Lenses?

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