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Who Develops Presbyopia?

The decline of close-up vision from presbyopia starts to affect nearly everyone in their 40s. 

What Is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is an eye condition that makes it difficult to see objects up close and occurs naturally with age. This is why many people need reading glasses or contacts as they get older. Advancements in eye surgery allow you to correct presbyopia and cataracts at the same time. Learn more at

As part of the aging process, your eyes’ lenses harden and lose flexibility to focus on close-up objects, causing the objects to appear blurry. This often causes people over age 40 to hold reading material farther away to see it clearly. Presbyopia is believed to be a natural part of aging that cannot be prevented.

Your eyes will likely continue to lose their ability to focus on close-up objects until you reach around age 65, requiring prescription changes for your glasses and contact lenses.

Being Diagnosed With Presbyopia

Presbyopia can be diagnosed during a basic eye exam by your eye doctor.

The first signs of presbyopia usually appear in the early to mid-40s. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you have a baseline eye disease screening at age 40, even if you don’t have vision problems or known risk factors. Your eye doctor will recommend follow-up exams based on the results and your family history.

Can Presbyopia Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, presbyopia occurs naturally as you age. Presbyopia affects virtually everyone sometime after age 40, even if you never had visual problems.

However, there are ways to help protect your eyes and vision from other potential problems, including:


  • Having your vision checked regularly.
  • Wearing sunglasses or a hat to block ultraviolet rays when you’re outdoors.
  • Controlling health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure that can negatively affect your vision.
  • Wearing protective eyewear to avoid injury when playing sports, operating machinery or handling toxic chemicals.
  • Eating healthier to ensure you’re getting plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. Evidence has shown that certain nutrients found in foods like fruits, vegetables, and fish are essential supporting vision health.
  • Seeing your doctor immediately if you experience such symptoms as loss of vision in one eye, blurred vision, flashes of light, black spots, or halos around lights. They can indicate such conditions as glaucoma, stroke, or retinal tear.