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Straining to see up close as you age? This is what’s happening to your eyes

Daybreak

(WYTV) – Are you over 40 and feel like you’re straining to read things right in front of your face? Guess what? You’re getting older.

What’s happening is that the lenses of your eyes are hardening as you age. As your lenses become less flexible, they can no longer change shape to focus on close-up images.

Eye experts say it’s actually normal, if not annoying.

It’s called presbyopia, and usually becomes noticeable in your early 40s and worsens until you’re in your mid-60s.

“I’ll sometimes joke with patients that you will have a three-month period in your life where you go from, ‘Well, yeah, of course I can see that’ to ‘Oh my goodness, is there writing on that?'” said Muriel Schornack, an optometrist at the Mayo Clinic. “We all have a bit of a moment of truth where we go, ‘Oh, this is really not working anymore. I either need reading glasses…’ or if you already wear distance correction, ‘I need some bifocals.'”

Eye doctors say this happens to most of us. A basic eye exam can confirm presbyopia, and eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct it.

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