Reading Glasses | Presbyopia

Difficulty focusing close up due to ageing eyes

Why do you need reading glasses, and can you be rid of them?

Presbyopia is the normal age-related loss of ability to focus on near objects. The term comes from Latin words that mean "ageing eyes".

Many people in their early 40s and 50s will experience these presbyopia symptoms;

  • eyestrain when reading
  • a difficulty keeping reading material in clear focus
  • the inability to read small print
  • the need to hold reading material further away to see it clearly

Can we treat presbyopia?

Yes. There are several forms of presbyopia treatment, which we'll get into lower on this page. In this video, James Ball discusses the top reasons for people to have presbyopia correction.

YouTube video

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Can you prevent presbyopia?

James Ball discusses the causes of presbyopia and whether it can be prevented.

YouTube video

Presbyopia treatment

We use PRESBYOND ™ laser eye surgery to correct presbyopia. Though it cannot restore distance vision and near vision in the same eye, laser eye surgery can correct presbyopia by using the PRESBYOND ™ blended vision technique.

Presbyopia treatment options

The majority of people in their forties and fifties who need glasses for distance and reading are suitable for PRESBYOND ™ blended vision laser eye surgery. As part of our comprehensive assessment of your vision we simulate the effect of the PRESBYOND ™ and can predict your tolerance to the blended vision optical set-up.

The majority of clinics only offer lens replacement surgery for this group of patients. At Custom Vision Clinic we carefully assess your suitability for both PRESBYOND ™ LASIK and Lens replacement. If your natural lens is still crystal clear and has some residual accommodation ability then we should try and keep it in your eye.

If your cornea is not suitable for laser eye surgery or if your prescription is too large for laser eye surgery then lens replacement can be an excellent alternative to give you decreased dependence on spectacles. Also, if you have signs of cataract then it makes sense to perform lens replacement because not only will we provide you with spectacle independence but also we will have treated your cataracts.

Lens replacement surgery has been given various names: 'lens exchange', 'clear lens exchange', 'Clarivu ™ '. These names are all describing the same procedure.

At present there are only four clinics in the country which are able to offer PRESBYOND ™ blended vision LASIK. This may be the reason that most eye clinics will only offer you lens replacement.

Results at a glance

Laser procedures
Cataract procedures
Better than the national average of complication rates

My eyesight following the operation is brilliant and better than I thought possible, and this is all down to your excellent surgeon Mr James Ball and not to forget all the very dedicated people around him who make these operations possible.

Keith Garlick

Two of the best decisions I ever made in my life were firstly to have lens exchange and secondly to have Mr James Ball carry out my operation.

Patricia Walton

Within minutes I could tell there was a difference. But now, only a couple of months later, my sight is better than it was seven years ago! I can even read the really tiny print on the car sales ads! If you want that confidence you probably felt when you were younger, this is the ideal solution. Thanks to the treatment, I feel rejuvenated, independent and much younger!

John Hazelgreave

Many thanks for all your care and kindness. To me it appears a miracle that I can see so well. I feel very grateful. It is impossible to fully express my thanks.

Grace C.

May I offer grateful thanks for your expertise in operating on my eyes. It was intimated to me that you were the best, and from the results I am now enjoying, I am convinced that this is correct.

Jean D.

You are truly innovative. Thank you very much for curing the problems I have been having with my reading and near vision.

Sala M.

My work was becoming almost impossible. I had refractive lens exchange to both eyes with multifocal lens implants last July. I can now see better than 20/20 for distance and can read the tiniest print in newspapers - all without glasses! I have started reading for pleasure again, and I feel that my performance both at work and on the golf course has improved.


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Laser eye surgery has changed my life. Now, having had laser, I wake up in the morning and I can see and it’s unbelievable.

Claire Varley

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About our surgeons

Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.

Mr Jack Gormley | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB ChB (Hons) FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic and York Teaching Hospital, where I lead the Corneal and Refractive service. I have completed over 2,000 surgical and laser eye procedures.