Presbyopia is a condition where with age, the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects. Presbyopia’s exact mechanisms are not known with certainty; the research evidence most strongly supports a loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens, although changes in the lens’s curvature from continual growth and loss of power of the ciliary muscles (the muscles that bend and straighten the lens) have also been postulated as its cause.

Like gray hair and wrinkles, presbyopia is a symptom caused by the natural course of aging. The first signs of presbyopia – eyestrain, difficulty seeing in dim light, problems focusing on small objects and/or fine print – are usually first noticed between the ages of 40 and 50. 

Presbyopia is mainly treated with corrective lenses. Corrective lenses provide a range of vision correction. Some with presbyopia choose varifocal or bifocal lenses to eliminate the need for a separate pair of reading glasses; specialized preparations of varifocals or bifocals usually require the services of an optometrist. Some newer bifocal or varifocal spectacle lenses attempt to correct both near and far vision with the same lens.