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Correcting Presbyopia: Glasses

Glasses can correct presbyopia. They focus the image back onto the retina. This way, you can see an object clearly. There are several kinds of glasses you can choose from.

Optician showing eyeglasses to woman.


Presbyopia is most often corrected by wearing glasses. If you have no other vision problems, you may only need reading glasses. As long as you have had an eye exam and you know the strength of the reading glasses you need, you can purchase them at a pharmacy without a prescription. If you are also nearsighted or farsighted, your eye care provider can prescribe bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses.

Bifocals correct near and far vision ("bi" means "2"). A small half-circle in the lower part of the lens magnifies objects that are close. In some cases, the whole lower half of the lens magnifies these objects.

Trifocals correct near, middle, and far vision ("tri" means "3"). The lower part of the lens has 2 magnifying powers. One magnifies near objects. The other magnifies objects that are about an arm’s length away.

Progressive lenses change magnifying power from near to middle to far vision. They do this slowly using a smooth transition. You don't notice a change from one power to the next. And you don't see any lines on the lenses. But the sides of the lenses will be blurry. That's because each lens promotes 3 fields of vision.

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2020
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