Close up of a woman’s eye wearing a contact lens
Close up of a woman’s eye wearing a contact lens


Presbyopia is an age-related condition that occurs when the eye cannot focus clearly, making close-up objects look blurred.

In young eyes, the lens inside the eye is flexible. It easily changes shape with the help of a circular muscle around it, called the ciliary muscle. This helps the eye focus on close-up objects.

Presbyopia happens when the lens inside the eye hardens and loses its flexibility. This makes it more difficult for the ciliary muscle to change the shape of the lens to correctly focus light on the retina, a layer of tissue in the back of the eye. This incorrectly focused light causes blurry vision.

Presbyopia happens naturally with age. It usually begins around age 40, even for people who have never experienced vision problems in the past.

Did You Know?

Blurred vision up close due to presbyopia is different from blurred vision up close due to hyperopia, which can happen at any age.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

Common symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Blurred vision up close
  • Needing to hold objects farther away to see them clearly
  • Eyestrain (when eyes feel tired)
  • Headaches (especially after close-up tasks, such as reading)

People with presbyopia might have difficulty seeing:

  • Books
  • Menu items, especially in dim light
  • Ingredient lists
  • Text messages, photos or videos on a phone

An eye doctor can check for presbyopia and discuss treatment options during a comprehensive eye exam.

See Also: What Happens During an Eye Exam?

Treatments for Presbyopia </h2

Presbyopia can be corrected by refocusing the light rays that enter the eye. Your eye doctor will also consider other vision conditions you may have in addition to presbyopia to determine the best treatment for you.

Common treatments include:

Contact lenses are an easy and convenient treatment option for presbyopia—even for those who also have astigmatism!link-out icon