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Throughout life, the eye’s lens gradually loses its natural elasticity, which makes it possible to move from distance vision to near vision. This function is called accommodation. The loss of accommodation (presbyopia) is physiological and affects everyone after the age of forty. It then continues until the fifties when practically all flexibility of the lens disappears.

The causes of presbyopia

Age is the main cause of presbyopia. The aging of the lens and its capsule gives it rigidity and a loss of elasticity. This difficulty in focusing for near vision is unavoidable and affects everyone aged forty and over. Nothing exists to counter the eventual presbyopia. With age, this decline in the ability to see up close is a universal development of our vision.

As presbyopia progresses, light increasingly converges to a focal point behind the retina, making near vision blurry.

Farsighted people, who already have difficulty seeing well up close, may feel the effects of presbyopia earlier. Their lens, having worked harder than the average, and this, for many years, can in certain cases have an advanced aging.

Short-sighted people, on the other hand, can feel the effects of presbyopia later. Their myopia can then become an asset, compensating for the symptoms of presbyopia.


The signs of presbyopia

When you wear your distance vision glasses, certain signs can allow you to recognize the onset of presbyopia:

  • You tend to keep your reading material away;
  • You experience visual fatigue or blurring during prolonged work in near vision;
  • If you are nearsighted, you regularly remove your glasses to see better up close.

An exam with your eye care professional to detect presbyopia will allow you to assess what stage you are at in addition to knowing your options.


How to correct presbyopia?

To correct presbyopia, the professionals at the IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic suggest that you wait until it is mature. This is when your lens has lost most of its elasticity. This maturity of presbyopia is normally reached between 55 and 60 years of age. In some cases, farsighted patients may have access to younger lens replacement because they experience the symptoms of presbyopia more quickly.

It is possible to replace the natural lens with an artificial  intraocular lens for the correction of presbyopia. This lens is chosen with care by the professionals of the clinic to ensure that its characteristics are adapted to your lifestyle.

With the right power, these lenses can allow you to see well near, far, or near and far simultaneously. Operating for presbyopia with intraocular lenses is the same procedure as cataract surgery. However, it is not necessary to wait to have cataracts to replace the lens.

Replacing the lens while it is still clear (without cataracts) allows you to enjoy sight without glasses for longer. A clear lens replacement in order to correct the symptoms of presbyopia ensures that the development of cataracts will never take place. Two birds with one stone!

Download our guide to intraocular surgery for more information


Does presbyopia stabilize?

Yes. Presbyopia normally appears in the forties and usually stabilizes between the ages of 55 and 60. This presbyopia is inevitable and can be operated by intraocular lenses.

Does presbyopia evolve?

Yes, gradually. Presbyopia will evolve from its appearance in the forties until its maturity, making near vision more difficult.

At what age can you start having presbyopia?

The age when you feel the symptoms of presbyopia can vary depending on the prescriptions. In the majority of cases, it is between the ages of 40 and 50 that the effects of presbyopia are felt.

For nearsighted people, presbyopia can be noticed a little later in life, because myopia, up to a certain point, compensates for presbyopia.

For farsighted people, it is the opposite. Presbyopia can appear earlier – in the early forties – because newr vision for farsighted people is already more difficult.

How can I improve my eyesight after 40?

The period between 40 and 55 is a time during which presbyopia is evolving.

For people in their early 40s, LASIK surgery may still be an attractive corrective option. Simply because the lens has not yet lost most of its accommodation. Laser surgery is done at the level of the cornea, at the surface of the eye. It does not affect the lens located inside the eye. Having laser surgery in your early 40s will free you from your reading glasses for less time, as presbyopia will continue to evolve into maturity. For this, some people prefer to wait until they have mature presbyopia and then have surgery with intraocular lenses.

For people closer to fifty, it is often recommended to resort to lens replacement surgery, if deemed appropriate by our team of professionals. This procedure permanently corrects presbyopia and will prevent you from having cataracts in the future.

The role of our professionals during your preoperative evaluation is to explain to you the aging of your eyes and to guide you according to your lifestyle.

Can you have laser eye surgery when you are over 40?

It is entirely possible to have laser eye surgery after age 40. However, this intervention will not free you from your near vision glasses for the next 20 years. Eventual presbyopia will increase your chances of wearing glasses again, for near vision in the short or medium term.

Is it worth opting for LASIK after 40?

Our professionals are here to explain your correction options.

Some patients prefer to choose LASIK surgery in order to have good vision immediately, knowing that presbyopia will happen eventually. These patients agree to resume wearing glasses for reading occasionally in the short or medium term.

Others prefer to wait until their presbyopia matures in order to opt for the replacement of the lens with intraocular lenses: a more permanent correction option.