20 Nov Presbyopia and how to avoid it
What is presbyopia?
If you are over 40 years old, and you have to move texts you read further and further into the distance, and you also need more light, then you are probably far-sighted. Experts call far-sightedness “prespyopia”. There are two approaches to explaining presbyopia.
An explanation of the phenomenon of presbyopia is based on Helmholtz’s explanations about the accommodation of the eye, which were published in 1855. Helmholtz attributes presbyopia to the hardening of the lens.
In 1864, however, Donders explains that presbyopia is caused by a weakening of the ciliary muscle to which the lens is attached.
These two approaches and theories are still believed today.
The facts about presbyopia:
R.F. Fisher and Barbara E. Pettet concluded in 1973, from the fact that the human lens consists of 63 percent water, that there can be neither a significant change in the lens with increasing age, nor that a stiffening of the lens can be the cause of presbyopia.
In 1988 R.F. Fisher stated in the study “Mechanics of accomodation in relation to presbyopia” that the ciliary muscle increases in a compensatory way as soon as the accommodation decreases with age. The contraction force at the onset of presbyopia is about 50 percent higher than at a young age.
In 1995, Ellis examined the strength of the ciliary muscle with modern ultrasound equipment. According to this study, the ciliary muscle would not lose its strength until the age of 120. This means that the muscle should have sufficient strength over the years to relax the zonula fibers that hold the lens in place.
The zonula fibres alter the malleable eye lens by tightening or relaxing it and thus play an important role in accommodation. It provides the optimal refractive power for sharp vision.
The thickness of the lens increases by around 0.02 millimetres per year. This means that at the age of 80, the lens is already twice as thick as at the age of 20. If your eyes followed the laws of optics, you would suffer from nearsightedness. Because the thicker the lens, the nearsighted the eye.
The fact is, however, that so far nobody really knows the reason for presbyopia and farsightedness.
Is wearing reading glasses the only solution for presbyopia?
The only solution proposed in our society to date for people with presbyopia is reading glasses or varifocals.
Many people experience for themselves that wearing reading glasses usually leads to deterioration. One to two weeks after wearing reading glasses for the first time, texts that were previously recognized without problems can often only be read comfortably with glasses. This means that you become dependent on reading glasses – often even very quickly, because our eye quickly gets used to new things.
What does reading glasses do?
The reading glasses bring your near point of sharp vision closer by enlarging the texts you read. But you have done nothing about the causes of your presbyopia.
The human body always adapts to the environment in which it is located. This is a law of nature. Applied to your eyes, this means that reading with magnifying glasses causes our eyes and their structure to adapt to the glasses, which then impairs vision without glasses, because the eye no longer switches to “without glasses” mode.
The solution for good vision is therefore not reading glasses.
Eye training is ideal for improving the function of your vision system, restoring your vision completely or giving you the ability to read without glasses. This also applies to presbyopia in combination with corneal curvature or other visual impairments.
With online eye training, there are vision tests that you can perform yourself and thus make your training progress measurable. Find out more here: Vision tests