I've got Presbyopia-- is there a Cure?

Famous People with Presbyopia

Did Sigmund have presbyopia? Quite likely...
Did Sigmund have presbyopia? Quite likely...
No LASIK for Eleanor...
No LASIK for Eleanor...

Eye Problems and Aging

As we age we begin to experience a loss of vision, to varying degrees. This is not "blindness" as we normally think of it, but it is a degeneration of our youthful ability to see more clearly. Most of us will experience presbyopia-- longsightedness caused by loss of elasticity to the eye lens. The symptoms are holding the newspaper or book at arm's length to read it, and possibly headaches, eyestrain and fatigue. Proteins create changes in the lens of the eye causing it to become hardened and less flexible over time and making focusing up close a challenge. Even people who have never before worn glasses will experience some degree of this presbyopia from about age forty onwards.

Fortunately, presbyopia (or "old man's eyes" as it comes to us from the Greek) does not have to mean the end of good eyesight and quality of life. Recent developments in vision aids and surgical procedures offer an excellent prognosis for many to enjoy even better eyesight than they had in their younger years. The risk of blindness with common presbyopia is very remote.

Some of the methods of dealing with presbyopia include:

  • prescription eyeglasses familiarly referred to as "bifocals" (or "trifocals") which indicates two or three points of focus for distance and nearness
  • PALs or "progressive addition lenses" that have a more gradual visual transition between the focal points (long distance and near) with no visible line as can be seen in the conventional bifocals
  • Reading glasses that are prescribed just for that (and other close work)
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses are the conventional gas permeable or soft lenses worn right on both eyes
  • Monovision Contact Lenses, one for distance, and one for nearness, which stimulates the brain to favour one eye over the other for various tasks. (Some people complain that monovision reduces visual clarity and that there is a loss of depth perception).
  • Corrective Keratoplasty is a treatment with radio waves that gives more curve to the cornea along with prescription to improve near vision. Sometimes a 'monovision' correction is made (to just one eye) but the reported downside is that the correction is temporary only, and diminishes in affect over time.
  • Presby-LASIK surgery uses an excimer laser to score many ablations (i.e., removal of corneal tissue to correct vision) and enables vision of variable distances. LASIK is also used to correct mono-vision situations.
  • Elastic Gel Injections into the eye structure that contains the natural lens is meant to serve as a new, more elastic lens for the eye, but is still at a highly experimental stage
  • Presbyopia-correcting Intro-ocular Lenses (IOLs) are surgically inserted at the time of cataract removal and have the potential of restoring full vision without need for glasses. There are available upgrades to the earlier IOLs that have much better multi-focus potential, but they generally cost somewhat more than what is covered by most health care insurance.
  • New scientific developments are made in the area of ophthalmologic care for presbyopia on an ongoing basis. Many older people have other eye diseases and conditions that may not currently have as good a prognosis for correction as presbyopia has(examples: glaucoma, macular degeneration, retina pigmentosa).

Not Aging-- Neglect!

Can I prevent Presbyopia?

So, on the one hand, there are people who say that we all end up with presbyopia, and on the other hand there are folks who say that the whole body can regenerate itself... that it is not aging but neglecting to "retain the reserve" of health that results in problems like presbyopia, diabetes, etc. *I am not a doctor and nothing I state here is meant to diagnose or take the place of your medical practitioner's advice. I do believe, however, that taking care of your body and health in general will result in good health, including eye health, into your ripe old age. I offer the following from various experts online who do have training and practice in the health sciences, longevity research and preventative medicine:

From Dr. Vince Balonzi on Anti-aging:

  • Bio-markers determine how old you are, not chronological age. If you keep your body functional, you keep your body young... it is the 'weekend warrior' who tears his knees apart, not the 'conditioned runner'... A good night's sleep and high intensity exercise make the Human Growth Hormone.

Dr. Dean Ornish recommends that you stay away from these factors that decrease good health, immunity and brain cells:

  • saturated fat
  • sugar
  • nicotine
  • opiates
  • cocaine
  • alcohol
  • chronic stress

NEWSTART® is an 18-day program which incorporates the following principles to restore your health:

  • Nutrition - Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health and recovery. Cooking classes, meals, and cookbooks all demonstrate the variety appeal, and satisfaction of whole plant food vegetarian cuisine. In addition physicians explain the issues that link nutrition with health or disease in their lectures.
  • Exercise - Action is a law of life. Muscle tone and strength are lost without exertion, but exercise improves the health of body, mind, and spirit multiplying vitality and health. Exercise therapy includes outdoor exercise, treadmill evaluations and Stretchercise. The many trails through beautiful surroundings beckon you to walk, walk, walk, but indoor exercise equipment is available.
  • Water - Because the body is 70% water, keeping well hydrated and knowing what and when to drink are essential to health. Hydrotherapy (water applied externally to the body) followed by massage enhances the circulation and immune system in wonderful ways.
  • Sunlight - The sun is the established energy source ordained by God to sustain the cycle of life for plants and animals. Abundant in California, sunlight is supremely important for the body's metabolism and hormonal balance.
  • Temperance - Using good things moderately and avoiding the bad is obviously wise, yet often hard to practice. Temperance can be neither bought nor earned, but is rather an important gift of God, a "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22, 23). Moderation in all things is a thread woven throughout the fabric of NEWSTART® Lifestyle programs.
  • Air - The body's most essential resource is air. More important than food or water, proper breathing and pure air are fundamental to good health. Fresh, clear mountain air surrounds the beautiful natural environment of Weimar Institute.
  • Rest - Restoration requires rest because sleep allows the body to renew itself Many types of rest are important for health, but the sweetest rest follows labor. "Early to bed and early to rise" is a vital NEWSTART® principle, and a healthy lifestyle makes this principle easier to maintain.
  • Trust In Divine Power - Directly linked to physical health (Proverbs 3:5-6), trust in God is a gift leading to right choices.

Read about some amazing results here(Weimar Health and Education Center)

Aging and Good Vision

Is it possible to improve eyesight in natural ways as we grow older?  The following links provide interesting and helpful articles that address this topic:

More by this Author


Comments 10 comments

brightandclear 6 years ago

Wow, I didn't know there was so much about methods to deal with presbyopia. Actually, I didn't know what presbyopia meant. Aha, a new word for my vocabulary. (grin) I was fascinated in the statement about a good night's sleep plus high intensity exercise was good for human growth hormone. I wonder how high of intensity. I probably don't qualify.


techygran profile image

techygran 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

hey brightandclear-- happy I could fill you in on all the ways to overcome presbyopia (even without knowing about it lol) I imagine intensity is related to you, as in, what is "intense" exercise for you? thanks for the comments!


Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

Emmanuel Kariuki 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Great! - this is a lot of information. I have worn glasses ever since I was 16, and it seems presbyopia does not respect that. Now I wear what you have called PALS. I have kept away from all the factors above except the sugar. For exercise I walk a lot but still no improvement in vision. No one has ever convinced me that sugar is really bad otherwise it would carry a warning "eat this sugar at your own risk."


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

I agree, Emmanuel-- presbytopia doesn't seem to respect how long we've been practicing 'improved' vision with glasses... and I also wear PALS lenses. Keep up the walking and other good practices! Thanks for your comments!


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Thanks for letting us know about all these cures! I'll have to check some of the more sophisticated surgeries at a later date. I had a cataract removed last year, and was given reading glasses. My vision is quite good, but if it deteriorates, it's great to know I have alternatives.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

"Say Yes To Life" Thank you for dropping by and for your comments! I wish you well with your vision, but you're right, it certainly is good to be aware of alternatives to some of the more invasive surgery and procedures out there. All the best, Cynthia


June Hubbard-Nuisker 2 years ago

my husband is near sighted and has Macular Degeneration in one eye and his vision has decreased in that eye as that eye has needed laser and some shots at the hospital... he has never taken care of himself and will eat almost anything... he will be getting a cataract operation is a while and they will give him new lenses so that he does not see near sighted anymore...but his eye that has Macular Degeneration will never be the same... he is 67


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

thanks for commenting June... I wish your husband all the best with the cataract surgery. They can do some amazing things these days! My Dad was very much like you describe as well-- near-sighted all his life, ate as he pleased, didn't take care of his health-- but he had successful cataract operations that resulted in his not wearing corrective lenses during the last few years of his life... was hard to get used to seeing him without glasses since I had never seen him without them my whole life before that.


Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

I wondered why my eyesight wasn't what it used to be! Thanks for sharing this information. Sounds like you did your research. Voted up.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you Ann1Az2 for reading, commenting, and voting!

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