What is presbyopia?
Presbyopia or eyestrain is a condition characterized by a loss of accommodation of the eye, causing blurring of near vision. This condition is the result of the loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens, a natural lens found in our eye that is responsible for focusing near images.
Eyestrain is age-related and starts to cause problems between the ages of 40 and 45, especially affecting the quality of life of people who have never worn glasses.
How to treat eyestrain?
Assessment by a specialist is very important, because there is no single treatment for all cases and different non-surgical methods can be used.
In its initial stage (between 40 and 43 years of age), eye drops can be administered to increase the depth of focus or restore accommodation through vision therapy exercises. Later on, presbyopia can be corrected with glasses or multifocal contact lenses.
Can presbyopia be operated on?
In the early stages, excimer laser can be used on the cornea (similar to surgery to correct myopia) to reshape the cornea and improve the depth of focus. After the age of 45, the most commonly used technique is the implantation of multifocal lenses, capable of focusing images from far and near, achieving independence from glasses in a safe way.
What is the function of multifocal intraocular lenses?
Currently, the implantation of intraocular lenses is the most commonly used method to treat presbyopia and abandon glasses.
In the past, multifocal lenses had strictly two foci, one for distance vision and one for near vision; however, this has recently changed with the introduction of a new lens with a trifocal design, which also allows focusing images at intermediate distances.
Can anyone wear them?
The recommended age is from 45 or 50 years old. Before surgery, each patient is evaluated by means of simple optometric and ophthalmologic tests to determine if he/she is a good candidate for multifocal lens implantation.
What does the surgery consist of?
The surgical technique is similar to cataract surgery. In this case, we replace the crystalline lens (natural lens of our eye) with a multifocal intraocular lens through a minimally invasive and painless surgery, which usually lasts about 10 minutes.
As a general rule, the surgery is performed under local anesthesia and sedation to be more relaxed. Once the surgery is finished, the patient can go home with the eye uncovered.
What care should I take in the postoperative period?
Care is minimal, since the surgery is not very aggressive. Visual recovery is quite fast and allows the patient to lead a practically normal life. In the first days it is important to avoid lifting weights and not to make sudden gestures, in addition to comply with the postoperative treatment with drops for a few weeks.