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Eye Health and Aging

11/10/2014 02:54AM ● Published by Family Features

As you age, your body goes through many changes, including differences in eyesight which can negatively affect day-to-day activities.

You may have noticed these differences while trying to read the morning paper or getting dressed for the day. While this change – also known as presbyopia – is normal (even for individuals who have always had perfect vision), it can disrupt the lives of those affected. Luckily there are ways to make these vision changes less noticeable and less impactful on daily life.

“It’s important for people to understand that what happens between 40 and 50 years old to our eyes up close is completely normal,” said Howard Purcell, O.D. and senior vice president of customer development for Essilor of America, the creators of Varilux lenses, the leading progressive lens solution for presbyopia patients.

While presbyopia affects most people over the age of 45, more than half of those with it don’t receive adequate correction. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020, 2.3 billion people will have this condition and will require some type of correction.

Understanding the eyes
According to Dr. Purcell, understanding this typical anatomical change in aging eyes is simple. The lens inside the eye needs to change shape to allow focus on objects, whether they are near or far. This lens grows throughout human life; but around 40 years of age, it isn’t as flexible as it was in younger years. This is around the time when the common issues associated with presbyopia begin to appear.

Dr. Purcell emphasizes the importance of routine eye exams, not only to evaluate the condition of the eyes, but to ensure systemic health is on point as well. Your optometrist can determine early warning signs of hypertension, diabetes and more – just by looking at your eyes.

A progressive approach
While many individuals with deteriorating eyesight turn to bifocals for their vision needs, progressive lenses may be a better solution. Progressive lenses transition from distance vision to near vision without the visible line associated with bifocal lenses. The use of high quality progressive lenses has been known to ease eye strain and provide natural vision correction.

Many patients believe there is only one progressive lens product available, which is not the case. In fact, those who have tried progressive lenses in the past without success should know that new, innovative options are available. Varilux progressive lenses, the first ever and still the leading progressive lens product and only provider of W.A.V.E. Technology: Wavefront Advanced Vision Enhancement, offers the wearer sharpness of vision and smooth viewing transitions at every distance.

It is important to speak to your doctor about your own individual visual needs, and it is equally vital to know you have a choice in the lenses you wear every day. For more information about presbyopia and Varilux lenses, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by Essilor of America

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