Presbyopia, a common age-related condition, involves the gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on close objects, often becoming noticeable in the early to mid-40s and progressing until around age 65. Symptoms include holding reading material at arm’s length for clarity. A routine eye exam can diagnose presbyopia, and corrective measures like glasses, contact lenses, or surgery are available options.


Presbyopia gradually takes hold. After the age of 40, you could start to notice these symptoms and signs:

  • Blurred vision at a typical reading distance.
  • A propensity to hold reading material more away to make the letters more readable.
  • Headaches or eyestrain following close-up work or reading.

If you experience worsening symptoms of presbyopia in conditions of fatigue or dim lighting, it’s important to consult an eye doctor if you find it challenging to read, perform close-up tasks, or engage in everyday activities due to blurry close-up vision. An eye doctor can evaluate your eyesight and discuss available alternatives for managing presbyopia.

Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden haziness or blurriness in vision.
  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye, with or without pain in the affected eye.
  • Flashes of light, black spots, or halos around lights.
  • Double vision


The formation of an image in your eye depends on the cornea and lens adjusting the light that reflects from objects. As objects come closer, the lens undergoes increased flexion to achieve focus.

  • The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped front surface of your eye.
  • The lens is a transparent structure roughly the size and shape of an M&M candy.
  • To focusthe image on the retina, which is on the inside back wall of your eye, both of these structures bend, or refractively, light that enters your eye.

Unlike the cornea, the lens possesses flexibility and can alter its shape aided by a circular muscle encircling it. When viewing distant objects, this muscle relaxes, while for nearby objects, it constricts, enabling the lens, which is relatively elastic, to curve and adjust its focusing capability.

Presbyopia develops due to the aging-related stiffening of the eye’s lens. With decreased flexibility, the lens loses its capacity to change shape effectively for close-up focusing. Consequently, close-range images appear blurred.

Risk factors

Several factors can increase your likelihood of developing presbyopia, including:

  • Age. The biggest risk factor for presbyopia is getting older. After the age of forty, almost everyone develops presbyopia to some extent.
  • Medication use. Premature presbyopic symptoms have been linked to some medications, such as diuretics, antidepressants, and antihistamines.
  • Additional medical issues. Premature presbyopia, or presbyopia in those under 40, can be brought on by being farsighted or have certain conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or cardiovascular disorders.