Symptoms and Signs of Presbyopia

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 5/12/2022

Doctor's Notes on Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the loss of the eye's ability to see clearly at a normal near working distance. Signs and symptoms include

  • difficulty reading small print,
  • needing to hold objects at arm's distance to focus properly,
  • headaches, and
  • eyestrain and/or eye fatigue, especially when reading.

The cause of presbyopia is due to a gradual loss of elasticity of the eye lens as the person ages. The usual treatment is for the person to begin using reading glasses. Infrequently, physicians may attempt surgical techniques depending on the patient's condition (for example, LASIK surgery, multifocal lens implantation after cataract surgery). Presbyopia occurs in all aging eyes. You cannot prevent presbyopia.

What Are the Treatments for Presbyopia?

Although presbyopia can not be prevented, it can be corrected by wearing glasses, contact lenses, and/or some surgical procedures. The following are options for treatment of presbyopia:

  • reading glasses
  • corrective eyeglasses
  • contact lenses eye surgery
    • Refractive surgery: like laser-assisted keratoplasty (LASIK, LASEK)
    • Artificial lens implantation
    • Corneal inlay implantation
    • Combined corneal inlay and LASIK surgery

Your eye doctor can help you decide what options are best for you.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.