Q&A: Presbyopia, cataracts and astigmatism

15 April 2019

Author: Kate Green

Optimax Q&A about presbyopia, cataracts and astigmatism

Your most common questions answered


We get lots of questions from prospective patients about different eye conditions, and whether or not we’ll be able to help them achieve clear, natural vision again. We’ll be able to determine your suitability for different procedures if you book in for a consultation. Our specialists will then advise you on the best treatment path. You might recognise some of the common problems we are asked about, so read on to find out how we can help you.




Recently, I’ve been having problems reading and seeing things close up. I have to hold pages out in front of me if I want to be able to see them properly. I went to see an ophthalmologist and he said I have presbyopia and that it’s common in people around my age in their forties or fifties.


What is presbyopia and can you treat it?


We all have a lens positioned in our eye behind the iris and, as it ages, the lens loses its elasticity. The lens is supposed to change shape to bring images into focus but, over time, it functions less well. This means it becomes harder to see objects close up, beginning to particularly affect people from their forties onwards. We can treat this with lens surgery, replacing your natural lens with a multifocal lens. This means you’ll be able to focus both on objects close to you, and in the distance too.




I’m approaching my seventies and have noticed my vision worsening in recent years. It feels like my sight is getting foggier but my glasses aren’t improving anything. I have problems looking at bright lights too. I looked up my symptoms online and I think I might have cataracts.


What are cataracts? Can you treat them?


A cataract is when your eye’s natural lens begins to become cloudy, decreasing the amount of light which passes through. This is a natural process that usually happens in a person’s sixties and reduces the overall quality of their vision. If left untreated, it can lead to severely impaired vision and eventually blindness. We treat cataracts by removing the natural lens and its cloudy contents, and replacing it with an artificial lens.




97% of the population has some form of astigmatism, with varying degrees of severity. This is a condition where the cornea is not a perfect sphere but is curved unevenly in a shape more similar to a rugby ball. This means that when light hits the eye, it isn’t received properly by the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in blurry vision regardless of the distance of the object a person is looking at.


Can you treat astigmatism?


Mild astigmatism can be treated effectively by glasses but, at Optimax, we can treat it with surgery where we reshape the cornea, or with cataract surgery. Get in touch with us to discuss which treatment path would be most suitable for you, and help you to achieve the best vision possible.

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