With age, everyone needs reading glasses for close-up vision.
At the age of 40 to 45 years, the ability of the lens to focus on different distances by changing its shape decreases (see also farsightedness). This process is called presbyopia.
With the onset of presbyopia, it is helpful to hold the newspaper, book or needle work further away. As age increases it becomes necessary to wear reading glasses to maintain good close-up vision.
However, for nearsighted people in their 40s this is not the case. A mild nearsightedness (approx. -2 to -3 dioptres) makes it possible to read close-up without glasses; although glasses are still required for distance vision (for example, driving a car or watching television). If surgery is used to correct nearsightedness, glasses are no longer needed for distance vision, but eventually will be required for reading due to presbyopia.
Until recently, reading glasses were the primary option for people with presbyopia. Today, a few surgical procedures are available that may help some people to avoid reading glasses:
|Eye laser surgery|
|Monovision LASIK||Special LASIK procedure with one eye being treated for distance vision and the other eye (usually the non-dominant eye) for near vision.|
|Laser refractive lens surgery with multifocal lens implants||Multifocal synthetic lenses replace the natural lens of the eye. They can provide relief for presbyopia and at the same time for nearsightedness or farsightedness.|