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Vision Correction Over 50

Refractive Eye Procedures for Seniors

Miscellaneous / January 5, 2021

Needing reading glasses or bifocals as you age is a lot like the need for dentures—eventually it’s going to happen. Science has yet to develop anything to stop or reverse the aging process, and aging affects your eyes as surely as it does your skin and bones. As your eyes age, the internal lens grows thicker and less flexible, which leads to the onset of presbyopia, before ultimately developing into a cataract.

The onset and progressive nature of these vision changes can be frustrating as this is when most people transition into readers or bifocals. Fortunately, there are alternative solutions that not only accommodate your vision, but your lifestyle as well. The surgeons at Durrie Vision specialize in refractive eye procedures for seniors that are specifically designed to stop the progression of these age-related vision changes, prevent or treat (if already developed) cataracts, and eliminate your dependence on glasses, contacts, bifocals, or readers. 

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition, resulting in the loss of the eye’s ability to focus on near objects. It typically becomes noticeable in your mid 40s and will gradually worsen over time.

For someone who has lived their entire life without glasses, it can be a frustrating adjustment to suddenly require readers in order to see things up close. Likewise, those who have already been in glasses or contacts find themselves having to add readers or switch to bifocals to address this loss of near vision. 

The good news? While natural vision changes are inevitable, several treatment options exist to treat presbyopia and other age-related vision conditions, including cataracts.

Presbyopia and Cataract Treatment Options

At Durrie Vision in Kansas City, we have a few procedures designed to treat presbyopia and reduce or eliminate the need for readers and/or bifocals. What’s best for you is dependent on a number of factors including age, lifestyle, and your individual eye health and anatomy. Learn more about these treatment options below. 

SBK Advanced LASIK with Blended Vision

In the early stages of presbyopia (early to mid 40s), our surgeons may recommend LASIK with Blended Vision. Blended Vision is a modified version of LASIK during which one eye is treated for distance and one eye is treated for near. Our brain “blends” these two streams of information together smoothly so that you’re not conscious of having different visual ability in each eye. 

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a popular vision correction procedure for people in their 50s, whose vision quality has continued to digress from age-related vision changes. Symptoms might include a noticeable decrease in near vision, difficulty reading in dim light, blurry, cloudy, or yellow-tinted vision, and/or difficulty driving, especially at night. During an RLE procedure, your surgeon replaces your dysfunctional natural lens with a premium intraocular lens designed to provide focusing power at near, intermediate, and far distances. RLE not only reduces or eliminates the need for glasses, bifocals, and/or readers, it also prevents cataracts from developing in the future. 

Refractive Cataract Surgery

If a cataract has fully developed, vision will continue to deteriorate as the lens becomes hard, yellow, and cloudy. To restore vision, the lens must be removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant. Recent advancements in lens technologies make it possible to not only eliminate a cataract, but also a patient’s dependency on glasses and bifocals. During Refractive Cataract Surgery, the clouded lens is replaced with an intraocular lens designed to also correct common vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

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