Presbyopia: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 4/12/2019

Presbyopia is a loss of the eye's ability to change focus to see near objects. People sometimes describe it as age-related farsightedness. It typically becomes apparent in people in their 40s.

The first symptom of presbyopia is often the need to hold reading material farther away and difficulty reading small print. The signs and symptoms come on gradually and worsen with time. Other associated symptoms can include blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches, particularly after doing close or detailed reading or work.

Causes of presbyopia

While medical professionals do not fully understand the reasons for this change, presbyopia is associated with aging, and occurs when the lens of the eye becomes less elastic over time.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/12/2019

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