Struggling With Small Print – over 40

by | Dec 4, 2019 | Eyesight

struggling with small print

If you are over 40 years old and struggling with small print then chances are you have presbyopia. What is presbyopia? Well, this post focuses on this eye condition by looking at what it is and what options you have. 

It is very common for people over the age of 40 to start experiencing challenges with their vision. In particular, you’ll find people over 40 struggling with small print. In other words, they find it very hard focusing at close distances. So why is this? Well, this is as a result of a condition known as presbyopia. It is known to affect just about everyone, whether you are long or short-sighted. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why people wear glasses or contact lenses for that matter. But what exactly is it? What is presbyopia? Well, that’s what we’ll be looking at below.

What is Presbyopia?

In terms of definition, presbyopia is basically a gradual loss of one’s eye ability to see or focus on objects that are close. It is a very common eye condition especially with people who are over the age of 40. How common is it? Well, it is estimated that over 2 billion people worldwide have presbyopia.

Why is this? Why is presbyopia so common? Well, this is an eye condition that gradually progresses with time. That’s why you’ll see a number of people over the age of 40 struggling with small print. Furthermore, they’ll also have difficulties interacting with their phones as it gets difficult to read things like messages contact numbers and so on.

There are a few key points to note about this eye condition. For starters, it has no cure. Yes, treatment will help but it will not completely cure this condition. In addition, if it is not looked at especially during its early stages, it can last for years and years to come or a lifetime. People who have presbyopia in parts of the world with no vision care are most likely to develop vision impairment.

Another point to note about this eye condition that results in one struggling with small print is that you cannot escape it. And yes, even if you’ve never had an eye problem before chances are you‘ll still get it. Even for people who are nearsighted, their vision will gradually become blur even if they wear their glasses or lenses.

How Does Struggling With Small Print Come About?

As already mentioned, this is an eye condition that happens over time. As you get old, the crystalline lens inside your eye gradually thickens and loses its flexibility. What this ultimately does is make the crystalline lens less elastic and hard with time. The harder and less flexible it is, the crystalline lens loses its ability to change shape so as to focus. This eventually results in one struggling with small print or near vision. 

Presbyopia Symptoms

Just like with any other eye condition, presbyopia has some tale-tale symptoms. For instance, if you find yourself holding things further away from you in order for you to see them more clearly then chances are you do have presbyopia. It can be a menu that you are trying to read, maybe reading a text message on your phone or a newspaper. The problem with this solution, moving objects slightly further away, is that it is only temporary. Furthermore, you’ll not be fully successful in dealing with this eye condition.

Another common presbyopia symptom is struggling with smaller print. In other words, you find it very difficult to see smaller print. If you also find yourself finding hard to read in dim light then this is another sign. This is especially true if you happen to have been reading in dim light with no challenges at all in the past.

In some instances, you might have presbyopia and still see close objects. However, you’ll realize that you’ll start having headaches, visual fatigue, and eye strain when doing so. If this is the case, if you are finding it uncomfortable seeing close objects then you might have presbyopia.     

How Do You Deal With Presbyopia?

With all that has been said so far, the only thing remaining is focusing on how to deal with presbyopia. As already mentioned, this eye condition that results in one struggling with small print has no cure. However, there are three things that’ll help in dealing with this eye condition. These three are;

  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact Lenses
  • Presbyopia surgery


Eyeglasses are a perfect solution for anyone over 40 struggling with small print. When I say eyeglasses, I don’t mean just about any eyeglasses; you need certain types of eyeglasses. For instance, you need eyeglasses with progressive lenses. Not only does this multifocal lens glasses restore one’s vision but they also give the wearer of the eyeglasses excellent vision regardless of the distance.

Other than eyeglasses with progressive lenses, you can also turn to one with bifocal lenses. Unlike progressive lenses, however, this type of lenses offers a limited range of vision. This is especially true for people who have this eye condition. If you have presbyopia and notice that your eyes are sensitive to glare and light then eyeglasses with photochromic lenses are perfect. They help reduce the light or sun’s glare by automatically darkening in sunlight.

Reading glasses are ideal for anyone who loves reading and struggles with small print. Unlike the previous glasses, these ones are more specific and are only to be worn when one is reading. If you happen to have contact lenses as your solution to presbyopia, speak with an eye doctor so as for him to prescribe for your ideal reading glasses.   

All in all, always see to it that you go for eyeglasses that have an anti-reflective coating. Glasses with this coating help eliminate reflections. These reflections are normally very distracting and in most cases are known to cause eye strain.   

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are another ideal way of dealing with presbyopia. For this, you should go for multifocal contact lenses. See to it that the lenses you go for are in soft or gas permeable lens material. In addition to multifocal contact lenses, you can opt for monovision contact lenses.

This type of contact lens sees one wearing two different types of contact lenses. One lens is for near vision while the other is for distance vision. This way, the brain of the person wearing the lens will adapt and assign relevant tasks to different eyes.  

Presbyopia Surgery

If you are an individual who doesn’t want to wear either eyeglasses or contact lenses for your presbyopia then surgery is ideal for you. With presbyopia surgery, you’ll undergo the implementation of a corneal inlay. This corneal inlay does two things, one, it helps in increasing depth of focus and two it helps in reducing the need for reading glasses while at the same time not affecting one’s distance quality vision.

Get to speak with your eye doctor to see whether you are a good candidate for presbyopia surgery. In particular, get to speak with an eye doctor that specializes in surgical correction of presbyopia.


Presbyopia or an eye condition that results in one struggling with small print is a normal part of the aging process. You shouldn’t at any point worry yourself too much about it. Just see to it that you take the necessary steps to have it looked into by an eye specialist. To get you started on the right note, do get in touch with Salisbury Optometrist. You’ll receive professional advice on how to go about dealing with presbyopia. You can contact Salisbury Optometrist by dialing 08 8285 7100 or sending an email to       


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