This is the gradual loss of your ability to see up-close objects clearly. It's a normal part of the aging process, and one that most people first notice in their mid-40s. It tends to get worse until you're about 65.


Why does it happen? Inside each eye, you have a lens surrounded by a muscle. When you're young, this lens is soft and flexible. The muscle around it tenses and relaxes to change the lenses' shape. This lets you focus on things near you, and things that are far away. But as you get older, the lens hardens. It can't change shape as easily. When this happens, your eyes have trouble focusing on things that are up close.


Presbyopia is most noticeable when you try to read. Letters look blurry. You have to hold things farther away to make them look clearer. When you try to focus on nearby things for too long, your eyes feel strained. You may get headaches.


You may be able to manage presbyopia with nonprescription reading glasses. Or, you can wear prescription glasses or contact lenses. For a more permanent solution, you can have surgery to improve your vision. Your doctor will let you know the best way to treat your vision problem.