Ever wonder why even people who never needed glasses have a hard time seeing things up close when they reach middle age? As time passes, the lens of your eye is likely to become more and more inflexible, which makes it less able to focus on handheld objects. This is known as presbyopia. And it's universal.
Those with undiagnosed presbyopia tend to hold printed text at arm's length in order to focus properly. In addition to reading, other close-range tasks, such as sewing or writing, may also cause eyestrain and discomfort. In order to treat presbyopia, you have a few solutions available, whether you currently wear glasses, contacts or nothing at all.
An oft-used solution is reading glasses, but these are only efficient for contact lens wearers or for people who don't already need glasses for issues with distance vision. Although reading glasses are easy to find at pharmacies or drugstores, it's best not to purchase a pair before you have seen the results of a comprehensive eye exam. Lots of people don't know that reading glasses may be useful for brief periods of reading but they can eventually cause eyestrain when worn for a long time.
And if you already have glasses, but don't want to switch between different pairs of glasses, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people respond really well to. PALs and multi-focals are eyeglasses with separate points of focus; the bottom section helps you see nearby objects. If you already wear contacts, it's worthwhile to speak to your optometrist to find out about multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment technique known as monovision, where each eye is fitted with a different kind of lens; one addressing distance vision and one to correct close vision.
Since your eyesight changes as you grow older, you should expect your prescription to increase periodically. Presbyopia still affects older individuals even after refractive surgery, so it is it's worthwhile to take the time to find out about all the options before making decisions about your vision care.
It's best to speak to your eye doctor for a helpful perspective. Sight changes as you age and we want to help you manage your vision in the way that's most helpful and beneficial to you.