Presbyopia is not a refractive error or a pathology, but a result of the natural aging process. As we age, the eye’s lens increases in volume while losing some of its flexibility and accommodation ability (i.e. the ability to adjust to different seeing distances).
This limited accommodation results in poorer near vision, requiring the patient to move things farther away in order to see them clearly. Over time, even this becomes insufficient.
Presbyopia affects most people over 45 years of age.
Risk factors for earlier onset of presbyopia include:
– age over 45
– working on a computer for prolonged periods
– use of antidepressants and antihistamines
– diabetes — especially if poorly controlled,
– use of drugs or tobacco
– existing hyperopia (far-sightedness)
Multiple methods are available for presbyopia correction, each with its own advantages and limitations. No single method exists that would be perfectly suited to each patient’s eye condition and expectations. However, in more than 90% of cases, an optimal solution can be proposed, depending on the patient’s individual lifestyle, concurrent visual defects, age, and a number of other factors.
Below, we discuss all known methods for presbyopia correction. You can find details on each method in the presbyopia correction methods section
What is vision?
From light to image
The process of seeing begins with the outermost part of the eye, the cornea, which bends the light reaching the eyeball and directs it toward the pupil. The area through which the light passes looks like a black spot on the eye’s surface. Around the pupil is the iris, a colored ring that opens or closes to regulate the amount of light penetrating into the eyeball through the pupil. Inside the eyeball, light passes through a natural lens which focuses it in the back of the eye.
Transmission of visual information to the brain
Inside, the back of the eyeball is covered by a thin layer of tissue called the retina. The retina consists of millions of receptors and nerve cells that detect the image passing through the optic system of the eye, in a manner similar to how pixels work in a digital camera. These receptors and nerves send information to the optic nerve, which then transmits it to the brain.
If both eyes are working properly, information reaching the brain from each eye is combined into a single three-dimensional image, allowing us to perceive depth as we observe the world around us.
Conditions allowing for normal, perfectly focused vision are called emmetropia, from the Greek words meaning “well-proportioned” and “sight”. The proportions of each part of the eye must be in harmony, so as to focus the incoming light directly on the inner surface of the back of the eye. The distance between the focal point and the lens determines the so-called refractive power of the eye. Refractive power is measured in diopters (D), and a value of 0 D indicates an emmetropic eye.
The Polish “Presbyopia 21” Club was established in April 2016 in Poznań, Poland, by Professor Andrzej Grzybowski. The creation of this first-ever Polish group of experts on presbyopia was motivated by the ophthalmologic community’s virtually unanimous view that access to reliable knowledge on modern presbyopia correction methods was insufficient.
The club brings together Polish and international ophthalmology practitioners and professors interested in modern methods for presbyopia correction.