Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes' ability to focus on nearby objects. It's a natural, often annoying part of aging. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in your early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65.

You may become aware of presbyopia when you start holding books and newspapers at arm's length to be able to read them. A basic eye exam can confirm presbyopia. You can correct the condition with eyeglasses or contact lenses. You might also consider surgery.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors

Presbyopia develops gradually. You may first notice these signs and symptoms after age 40:

  • A tendency to hold reading material farther away to make the letters clearer
  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance
  • Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close work

You may notice these symptoms are worse if you are tired, drank alcohol or are in an area with dim lighting.

When to see a doctor

See an eye doctor if blurry close-up vision is keeping you from reading, doing close work or enjoying other normal activities. He or she can determine whether you have presbyopia and advise you of your options.

Seek immediate medical care if you:

  • Have a sudden loss of vision in one eye
  • Experience sudden hazy or blurred vision
  • See flashes of light, black spots, or halos around lights

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