As a culture we have become increasingly literate, placing a very high priority on reading and education. Nobody would argue that we have also become increasingly computer-dependent, to an extreme degree. For people who have excellent distance vision and are "40-something" or above, the simple tasks of reading and viewing a computer monitor become not so simple. That's why we have slightly enlarged the font size for pages in this section of the site (:->) !
Above about age 45, if distance vision is optimal in both eyes, most people will need reading glasses to assist with close viewing. Those above 45 who wear prescription glasses to see well at distance will need two pair (distance and reading); or use bifocals. Since Ben Franklin invented bifocals, their existence has been both a blessing and a curse for the people that wear them. You can read easily if looking down, through the "reading" portion, but not if looking straight ahead (as for instance at a computer monitor). And when you are walking down a flight of stairs or lining up a putt, your feet and the ground are blurry because you are looking through the reading portion of the lenses. The optical industry offers many choices to those that need bifocals: you can have "flat-top" bifocals with a line in the lenses, or you can have progressive, blended, or Varilux lenses, all for a premium price; all because they afford a range of focus and hide the unsightly line in the lens. To be sure, we all sometimes do things out of vanity, or for appearance sake, or in pursuit of youthfulness.
The need for reading glasses arises due to a natural aging change of the lens inside the eye, referred to as presbyopia. For most people this problem introduces itself to us in our mid-40's, when we find that "our arms are not long enough" to see clearly when we read. At first, it is easily solved by using brighter illumination, or holding things slightly further away. Then it becomes necessary to use those "granny glasses," small magnifying lenses. At age 44 or so, one might only need magnifiers of power +1.25, but every few years the strength of the lens power needs to increase, to keep up with the progressive decline in close focus capability of the eyes. Finally, at about age 56 or so, we are wearing "+2.50 power" cheaters, and this is where our eyes remain for the foreseeable future.
We have entered an era in which it is now possible to surgically restore adjustability of focus for human vision. This news might generate a "so what?" attitude by those under 40, as they are too young to experience the problem so they do not appreciate its significance. For any of us older than that, however, an increasing percentage will sit up, take notice, and check out these options. It is for that group that this section of our site is written.
There are several surgical options available to restore reading vision that we offer at LA Sight. These include:
We also have a page discussing The Future of Reading Vision Restoration.