The Curious Case Of Presbyopia – And How We Are Fighting Against It

Vision is one of the most precious gifts that humans have. That said, there are certain medical conditions which tend to deteriorate vision. One such serious condition is Presbyopia. In medical terms, it is a problem related to vision which occurs because of the lost elasticity of the eye lens. The result is that a person suffers from far-sightedness. Unfortunately, age plays a huge role in presbyopia.

A few numbers

To help you understand better about the seriousness of this medical condition, here are some numbers –

  • In the year 2014, there were more than 150 million Americans beyond the age of 40+, which were at risk for presbyopia
  • If we look at the global level, then WHO says that there were more than one billion people all over the world that were facing the problem of presbyopia in the year 2005.

More than half of these did not have access to adequate treatment, as they were located in growing countries. Now, all this paints a scary picture of the entire presbyopia condition and how people from all over the world are facing this problem.

Common signs and symptoms of Presbyopia

Presbyopia is usually associated with the loss of elasticity of the eye lens, and generally tends to occur as the person crosses the age of 40. Some of the common symptoms that you can notice in a presbyopia person include –

  • Improper vision – the person needs to hold books, or other reading material, at more and more of a distance in order to read what they want to read;
  • Inability to focus while doing intricate work like handwriting, embroidery and more;
  • Constant headaches, eye strain and eye fatigue.

These are just a few of the common signs that start to appear as a person becomes more prone to presbyopia, with increasing age.

What causes it?

Now the most common question people ask about this eye condition is – What causes presbyopia?

Simply said, it is an age related process, which occurs generally because of the thickening of the eye lens and at the same time a loss in its natural flexibility. Unlike other eye conditions like astigmatism, myopia or hypermetropia, environmental factors play little role in presbyopia.

The problem of presbyopia in itself is quite severe, but what makes it worst is the fact that a big part of the global population suffering from this eye condition does not have access to the right set of facilities to treat it, which mostly includes getting glasses or contact lenses.

Although people like Dr. John Hanes with his organization, the Give Me Sight Foundation, are doing their bit to raise awareness and bring treatment to people who are in need, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. Let’s hope that more and more people come forward to raise awareness, and the mission to make the world a better place to live, for which Dr. John Haines and many others are fighting is accomplished in the near future so that we all can live in world where basic health care is accessible to all!

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