Eyecare with Dr Priscilia Imade: Presbyopia

Presbyopia colloquially means “old eye”.

Presbyopia refers to age-related loss of the eyes ability to focus actively on nearby objects especially printed materials. Presbyopia is caused by the hardening of the lens of the eyes due to age, it makes the lens less flexible and cannot easily change shape to focus on things at near. People generally become aware of presbyopia when they start holding or pushing their books or newspapers father away from their face or at arm’s length to read. Presbyopia is basically corrected by the prescription of reading glasses.


Statistics says it affects about 1.5million Nigerians yearly. Nearly 2 billion people have presbyopia worldwide.


Blurry vision at near. Holding materials at distances to read or at arm’s length. Eye strain or headaches after reading or doing near work.

Difficulty reading small prints, tacking buttons, threading a needle, picking stones from beans.

Tearing after reading or doing near work.

Eye fatigue from doing near work.

Needing bright lighter light when reading.

Squinting to read or focus.


AGE: Starts at about 40 years and it progressively gets worse.

OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR SYSTEMIC DISEASES such as diabetes, anemia, cardio vascular diseases, hyperopia can increase the risk of premature presbyopia.

DRUGS: Antidepressants, antihistamine, diuretics and steroids can increase the risk of premature presbyopia. Antidepressant are medications used to treat major depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic pain conditions, addictions amongst others. Examples of diuretics are medications designed to increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body as urine. Used often in treatment of high blood pressure.


Glasses: single vision reading glasses, bifocals glasses, progressive addition lenses, Contact Lenses and presbyopic surgery.

*Dr Priscilia Imade is CEO, Modern Eye Clinic, Lagos. E-mail: [email protected]

Another edition of the column returns on Monday in The Frontier





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