Posted on May 7, 2023 in 2023 June, Lifestyle and Wellness

Eye on Vision

Many of us got our first pair of glasses in childhood while our peers could see a chalkboard perfectly from the back of the room.

They didn’t have to worry about breaking their glasses in basketball games or poking themselves in the eyes learning to put in contacts, but the vast majority of them wound up with glasses in their mid-40s anyway. This is due to the onset of presbyopia, which is the gradual loss of the ability to focus visually on up-close objects. (Fun fact: the word “presbyopia” literally means “old-person eyes”!)

Roughly 80% of the American population develops presbyopia between ages 45 and 55 and requires some form of vision correction to restore their near vision. There are different treatment options depending on the individual and the severity of the presbyopia.

Reading glasses are the easiest option and often the first for people who had good vision up until this point in their lives. They can be found over-the-counter and offer mild correction at a single strength (the entire lens has the same enhancing power from top to bottom). Bifocals and trifocals are a little more complicated. Their lenses are divided into two or three sections, respectively, by sharp horizontal lines – each section has a different corrective strength, helping you see well both up close and at a distance. Progressive multifocal lenses also have a range of corrective powers, but do not have lines and offer a smoother transition between the power changes.

If you’re over 40 and having trouble seeing clearly up-close, talk with your eye doctor. It’s likely your vision or even medical coverage can help with the financial costs of an exam or glasses. You can also use Health Saving Account or Flexible Spending Account dollars toward a new set of lenses.


Presbyopia – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic
The prevalence and demographic associations of presenting near-vision impairment among adults living in the United States – PMC (