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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Why in 40s do I suddenly feel as though I am going blind and

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Why in 40's do I suddenly feel as though I am going blind and can't read anything?! Everything is blurry even my emails now? My eyes checked out to be healthy, but this vision thing seems to be happening very quickly

Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Exactly how old are you? I assume you've not been using prescription glasses or contacts previously? Over how long a time had this been happening?
Customer: 48 and I had a migraine 2 years ago that was like a stroke I thnk my vision worsened then it happened very quickly in last 2 years
Customer: Doc just said go to drugstore and get reading glasses
Customer: Scary because feels like gong blind!
Customer: ii take Ativan some since migraine "event"
Doctor DanB : A question I commonly get asked by my patients who have recently turned forty is, “What can I do to keep from needing reading glasses?” There are almost no certainties in medicine. However, unlike nearly every other medical problem the human body can encounter (in which there is always an exception to the rule), presbyopia universally affects everyone after the age of forty-five.Presbyopia is the decreased ability of the eye to accommodate (focus at objects up close) related to a progressive hardening of the natural, crystalline lens. The lens in your eye that you were born is very flexible at birth. As you look at a near object, the accommodative (near focusing) muscles in your eye contract which releases tension on the zonular fibers that emanate radially from the edge of the lens (these fibers like and act similarly to springs on a trampoline). Normally, when looking at distance objects, there is tension on these fibers which keeps the lens in a flat position, allowing for clear focus for distant objects. When the tension is released on the fibers as part of this accommodative effort, the lens assumes its natural, rounder and thicker configuration which allows for focusing on near objects.Starting at birth, however, the lens gets progressively thicker and harder such that by the time a person gets into their early forties, the lens begins to lose its innate ability to change shape with accommodation which ultimately leads to progressively blurry vision for near objects. This progressive hardening of the lens causes a decreased ability to maintain clear focus for near objects and a person naturally will start to hold objects further away from their face as they get older, attempting to rely less on accommodation for clear near vision. Several years into presbyopia many people find that their arms are no longer long enough to allow them to read!The simple solution for persons who do not wear prescription glasses for distance vision is to purchase some over-the-counter reading glasses that you can find at many drug stores. Many people call these “cheaters” or “readers.” A general rule of thumb for this person is that a forty-five year-old person would need readers that are approximately +1.75 strength if they hold their reading material at a comfortable, arms’ length. Then, generally every five years they would need an increase in power of +0.25 to keep up with their increasing hardening of their lenses until that hardening plateaus around the age of sixty-five. If your near vision needs require clear vision at a closer distance than comfortable reading distance, then a higher strength than your typical reading strength would be needed; a correspondingly lower strength would then be needed for near tasks further away than typical reading distances, such as computer work.If you already wear prescription glasses and you are past the age of forty-five, then you likely are already using a bifocal, tri-focal, or progressive (no-line) addition lens in the bottom of your glasses to allow you to overcome presbyopia. Just like people who don’t have prescription distance glasses, though, your prescription will also likely need to be updated every 4-5 years to allow for stronger near vision lenses to keep up with the progressive presbyopia.The botXXXXX XXXXXne with presbyopia, though, is that it is entirely normal. Occasionally I’ll encounter a patient who is frantically searching for the reason why they are going blind and they have never been told to expect this type of vision change as they got older. Once again, though, I’m here to state that everyone unequivocally gets presbyopia if you live long enough. Death and taxes aren’t the only inevitable problems in life!
Doctor DanB : does this make sense?
Doctor DanB : Does this information help address your concerns? Do you have any other questions about this? It appears as though you are not in the chat room currently. I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need. If you would like to ask further questions or clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns when I return to see if you've responded. If your concerns have been resolved...Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!
Customer: Yes thank you it's kind of scary - so guess not really going blind just will have to wear glasses? No surgery to correct? I thought the stroke may have caused it but was maybe a timing coincidence
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