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Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244
Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244


Presbyopia – Age-Related Farsightedness

Regardless of eye condition in your youth, your eyes will most likely begin to change as you reach your mid-40s and beyond. You will find yourself holding the newspaper a little farther away in order to focus better on the words. This common age-related condition is called presbyopia or farsightedness brought on by the changing shape and flexibility of the eyes’ lens. The eyes continue to change the older you get and corrective glasses or contact lenses are inevitable.

When Will I Need Glasses?

Presbyopia does not happen over night. It is a progressive condition that probably started in your 30s and became a nuisance later on. Regular eye exams are very important so that corrective glasses or contacts can be prescribed. Some telltale signs that you need to see your doctor or renew your prescription are as follows:

• Holding reading material out at arms length to focus on the words

• Problems reading the dashboard while driving in the evening or at night

• Reading in dimmed light (reading a menu at a restaurant)

• Experiencing headaches and eye pain after reading

Depending upon your eyesight before the onset of presbyopia, you will be fitted with bifocals, half glasses or prescription reading glasses or contact lenses that also correct any previously diagnosed vision problems. Bifocals divide the lenses in half so that when reading material is close, you look down into the lower half of the glasses into magnified lenses and then when you look up the lenses are clear. Half glasses are just as they sound, a half circle that magnifies words that you are reading. Most people continue to enjoy reading well into retirement. Your prescription will continue to change, so visit your ophthalmologist yearly.

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Reston, VA 20190

Jacqueline Deneen Griffiths, MD


20 Davis Ave. SW
Leesburg, VA 20175

Claiborne M. Callahan, MD

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