- Aging & Longevity
I've got Presbyopia-- is there a Cure?
Famous People with Presbyopia
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
- 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:
- Chinese Eye Exercises
Chinese Eye Exercises - Accupressure Point Massage Technique
- Nutrition and Vision, what you see is what you get.
Nutritional tips to maintain healthy vision including fish oil, lutein, and other dietary advice and food groups.