What is presbyopia?


Reading glasses and surgical options

You can’t escape presbyopia, the medical term for the loss of reading vision in middle age. Sadly, it will happen to us all eventually. Even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. It usually occurs around the ages of 45-50 in the UK, and earlier in warmer and more southerly countries. The problem is when the lens inside the eye becomes less elastic and the eye is no longer capable of ‘zooming’ in to focus on a near object. Think of it as a camera where the focus dial is stuck for clear images in the distance, but you can’t turn the focus ring to get a clear image of your newspaper.

Before LASIK Blended Vision


After LASIK Blended Vision


This stiffening of the eye’s internal lens means you have a reduced ability to bring near images into focus. When people start to develop presbyopia, they find they need to hold books, magazines, newspapers and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly and even computer work can become increasingly difficult. When they perform near work, they may also develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.

Traditional cures are wearing reading glasses, bifocal or varifocal glasses or monovision contact lenses, all of which have their limitations either in inconvenience, effect or tolerability.

Treatment options

Blended Vision

However these are fortunately no longer the only options. Dr. David Allamby, an ophthalmic surgeon at London’s prestigious Focus Clinic, is the pioneer in presbyopic treatments in the UK and a recognised leader of the field of presbyopia. After performing the very first treatment of its kind in the UK, he has paved the way for a more sophisticated treatment called Blended Vision.

Blended Vision is a 10-minute laser eye treatment which allows you to see both far and near without needing glasses or contact lenses. One eye is corrected fully for distance vision and the other eye is corrected for near vision, and both eyes then work together merging, or ‘blending’, the images from each eye within the brain to allow good vision for near and far and giving a greater depth of field. It is an advancement from monovision and a much more refined treatment.

Blended Vision is suitable for more than 90% of people who need reading glasses, and is much more effective than the related contact lens monovision which only 40-50% of people can tolerate. Screening tests at your consultation can easily confirm if you are suitable for Blended Vision.

The key advantages are:

  • Freedom from reading glasses, distance glasses and contact lenses
  • Increased depth of field
  • It is tolerated by more than 90% of people, compared to just 40-50% with monovision
  • A long duration of benefit, and can often be enhanced to keep up with any age-related progression of presbyopia

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive lens exchange, also known as RLE, is another surgical option for the correction of presbyopia. This lens-based procedure works by replacing the natural lens inside the eye (which due to ageing has lost its ability to flex and focus) with a specialised implant known as an intraocular lens (IOL). Follow this link to learn more about RLE lens replacement surgery.

The word presbyopia comes from the Greek word presbys, meaning “old man” or “elder”, and the ancient Greek word ops, meaning “eye”, but this “old man eye” and the unavoidable deterioration of the eye with age can very often be overcome with the help of Dr. Allamby and the Focus Clinic team.

Call us on 0207 307 8250 to learn more or book your free consultation.


By: Hannah Howard

If you are interested in vision corection at Focus Clinics please call us on 0207 307 8250 and book a free consultation.

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25th May


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 David Allamby