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Q: Why can’t I see near objects clearly any more?

Posted September 12, 2012 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

A: For many it has already happened. Your arms have gotten too short for you to read. For others it’s just beginning. For those who don’t know what I mean, you will. It is everybody’s destiny.

The crystalline lens in the eye changes shape when we view objects five feet away or closer. Starting around the age of 5, the lens slowly becomes less flexible, and our ability to see near objects clearly gradually decreases. Around the age of 45, the ability to “focus” on near objects is greatly reduced; consequently, things become blurred.

Often people will experiment with over-the-counter “cheaters” or “readers.” They hide and stash them everywhere; in drawers, pockets, and glove compartments, hoping when it comes time to read they aren’t left in the dark (pun intended). With today’s technology, there are more convenient options than taking your “cheaters” on and off all day long. In the past few years, new bifocal contact lens designs have become available. Many find these provide good vision, are comfortable and easy to care for. For others, a concept called mono-vision, when one eye is corrected for near and the other is corrected for far, is a great option. Finally, the “no-line bifocal” has taken leaps forward in recent years. Computer-aided designs, as well as advancements in manufacturing have created “high definition” or “digital” lenses with better all-around vision and less distortion.

We can help you leave the “cheaters” in your pocket or purse, and find a solution that fits your visual demands and lifestyle.

Information provided by Dr. Thomas Augustin, Vision Park Family Eye Care, 640 S. 50th St. Suite 2180, West Des Moines, 225-8667.

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