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Why can’t I see up close?

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Are you over 40 and notice that you are pulling things further away from your eyes when you read? Are you wearing over-the-counter reading glasses to help you see your phone better?  These are symptoms of a condition called presbyopia (pres-bee-opia). The natural lens behind the colored part of the eye (iris) is controlled by tiny eye muscles called ciliary muscles.  Over time, the lens becomes less flexible causing objects at near like a cell phone or dinner menu to become blurred. Don’t be alarmed! This is a natural process of “maturing” that everyone goes through this in their 40s.  

What can be done to help your eyes feel young again?

 If you are already wearing glasses and are tired of taking your glasses on and off to read or see up close, consider progressive eyeglass lenses.  Progressive eyeglass lenses allow for clear vision when see things far away, intermediate, and up close by relaxing your eyes from straining. This is not the same as a bi-focal that your parents or grandparents wore with a distracting line.  Bi-focals have only two zones: far and up close. Progressive lenses have no lines, allowing for better functional vision and looks like a normal eyeglass lens, so they don’t age you! Computer glasses are a type of progressive lens tailored for computer users, especially for those who work on two or more monitors. These lenses have a larger computer and reading area compared to traditional progressive lenses to prevent neck pain from constantly trying to find the “sweet spot”.

                          General Progressive Lenses

How about if you wear contact lenses but notice you cannot see up close? Not to worry, with new contact lens technology, multifocal contact lenses allow for clear vision at a far,  at the computer, and up close. This will reduce your dependency on reading glasses about 80% of that time so that you do not have to constantly pull out your readers. Multifocal contact lenses work by providing multiple images on the eye at the same time.  There is an adaptation period and your brain learns how to decipher which correction to focus on, depending upon whether focusing at far or at near. There are many types of progressive eyeglass lenses and multifocal contact lenses for every prescription.

                        Multifocal Contact Lenses

If progressive eyeglass lenses or multifocal contact lenses sound like a good fit for your lifestyle, schedule a consultation at our office!  


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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