Longsightedness or presbyopia
What is longsightedness or presbyopia?
EsIt is the physiological loss of the eye’s capacity to focus which occurs with age causing difficulties with close up vision. In order to see nearby objects well the eye makes use of a focussing system called accomodation. This mechanism causes a change in the shape of the crystalline lens thereby bringing the image closer to the retina so that it can be seen more clearly
What is the cause ?
In young people this crystalline lens is soft and flexible which, with the help of some small muscles attached to it, changes its shape depending on the distance of the object, enabling it to be in focus on the retina. In adults this capability gradually deteriorates owing to rigidity of the crystalline lens and its cilliary muscles.
Can longsightedness be considered an illness?
No, not at all, it is normal to start having difficulty reading close up between the age of 40 and 45.
What are the symptoms?
The common symptom is difficulty when carrying out visual activities at less than 33 cms. such as reading ,using the computer or doing close work. Another accompanying symptom is usually ocular fatigue or even severe headache.The symptoms are more acute in low light and at the end of the day. In the early stages you try to compensate by placing the object at a distance, when longsightedness advances it becomes absolutely impossible to see close up.
Does longsightedness affect everybody?
It affects everyone in the same way even people who have never needed glasses. Some people, at the age of longsightedness, read correctly in spite of the fact that it should not be so. This is because people with shortsightedness or myopic astigmatism, by having the focal point at a lesser distance and at rest, need to accomodate the crystalline lens less. This advantage allows them, up to a certain point, to see more or less well close up depending on their grade of shortsightedness. This phenomenon also occurs in people who have cataracts which, because of the shortsighted effect which cataracts cause, helps them to see well close up.
How is longsightedness diagnosed?
It is routinely detected during a complete examination of the eyes. The ophthalmologist, by dilating the pupil, can determine the amount of refractive defectiveness and establish a suitable treatment.
Is it possible to prevent or cure longsightedness?
No, it is not possible to prevent or cure longsightedness, it is an irreversible physiological process which comes about as the years pass by, normally between the age of 40 and 45 up to the sixties. We can only compensate for this loss of eye focussing by varios means.
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