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Chapter 34 – Presbyopia

Jane F Koretz

Overview

Presbyopia (from the Greek presbys, elder or old, and, -ops, eye) is a progressive condition where the ability to focus on nearby objects is gradually lost as part of the natural aging process. Although the development of presbyopia appears to begin in the second decade of life, it does not become a significant problem for most people until they reach their 40s, when it becomes increasingly difficult to read, sew, or use a computer without visual assistance. It is sometimes confused with far-sightedness because far vision remains relatively unaffected. However, although the eye's far point of focus is not significantly altered, the near point (the closest comfortable focus) is gradually receding toward the far point, reducing the range over which clear focus can be attained. Although presbyopia is not life- or vision-threatening, it nevertheless “represents a significant economic cost to society,” as reported by the National Eye Institute (