Presbyopia is the inevitable loss of the ability to focus on near objects, which means that most people over the age of 45 need reading glasses.

  • Eventually affects everyone; usually at mid-forties.
  • The natural lens inside the eye loses its ability to change shape shifting focus from distant objects to near objects.
  • Reading glasses or bifocals are required to see near objects.

It is the most common eye condition in Australia, occurs as part of normal aging and is not considered to be an eye disease. The process occurs gradually over a number of years.

Symptoms are usually noticeable by age 40–45 and continue to develop until the process stabilises some 10–20 years later. The result is that it is more difficult to read at close range.

This normal aging process of the lens can also be combined with myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.

Presbyopia is a refractive error, which results from a disorder rather than from disease. A refractive error means that the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in a blurred image.


Symptoms may include:

  • near objects appear blurred
  • difficulty seeing objects up close

These symptoms may not necessarily mean that you have presbyopia. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact us for a complete exam.

Presbyopia is treated using either multi-focal lenses or Phacoemulsification. Phacoemulsification, or Phaco as it is commonly known, is a procedure in which an ultrasonic device is used to break up and then remove a cloudy lens from the eye to improve vision. The insertion of an intraocular lens (IOL) usually immediately follows phacoemulsification.