Almost everyone will develop presbyopia at some point in their adult lives. In fact, more than 70% of Canadians wear corrective lenses (eyeglasses or contact lenses), and a good portion of that percentage is due to presbyopia.
In the case of eyesight. refraction refers to the process of bending/altering where light focuses when it passses through the cornea/lens of the eye.
In a normal eye, light is refracted by the cornea/lens directly onto the retina. This provides normal, clear vision at all distances. In an eye with a refractive error, the light is focused in front or “behind” the retina, causing visual impairment relative to where the point of focus is.
A focal point in front of the retina will result in nearsightedness, whereas a focal point behind the retina will result in farsightedness.
As of 2017, the medical community is not 100% sure why the lens changes structure, only that it does. More research is being done in this area.
Both eyeglasses and contact lenses are non-invasive, easy ways to correct presbyopia. As presbyopia is also progressive, these forms of correction are ideal as they can be easily updated as your prescription changes.
Laser Refractive Eye Surgery
In some cases, refractive surgery may be recommended as an option to address presbyopia. However, as presbyopia is progressive, choosing this route may require additional surgeries down the road- or even the eventual adoption of corrective lenses anyway.