Presbyopia, presbyope, ‘old-age reading blur’:

Visual blur experienced up close, with onset generally at or after age 40. It’s most distressing impact is on reading ability and close detailed work.

Physically presbyopia is due to a stiffening of the lens and the ciliary muscles. It starts with a sensation that ‘my arms are too short’ as most presbyopes experience that reading matter held close is blurry, but in the beginning this can be compensated for by holding the reading matter further away. If action to correct the blur is not taken and poor vision habits remain, this blur will generally worsen over time until even arms length is not far enough away to read at. (Even if you wanted to hold all your reading matter at arm’s length!)

Anatomical Eyeball

Presbyopia most often occurs by itself but can also be accompanied by astigmatism. If you experienced reading blur from an age earlier than 40 years, you may have hyperopia. Hyperopia usually begins in childhood.

Commonly magnifying lenses are prescribed to correct presbyopia. Some presbyopes use over the counter magnifying lenses for reading. This does the job but as the lenses are standard and not tailored to the individual’s eyes they can in some cases add to the ongoing problem. Whichever type of glasses are used it is generally experienced that consistent use of external correction leads to further deterioration in visual acuity (more blur).

This may occur in part because the magnifying lenses create a situation in which the muscles and lens of the eye no longer need to flex and move to create focus, allowing them to become even less flexible and mobile. (A case of ‘use it or lose it’.) There are also issues with the eyes being forced to the level of the glasses lens, regardless of their natural state at any particular moment. (See Transition Glasses information.)

It is understandable that like other parts of the body, the muscles and lens of the eyes can become stiffer as we age. However with a few minutes per day of specific activity they can be easily returned to a flexible and mobile state. This flexibility can then be maintained for the rest of your days with only a small effort.

Presbyopes can develop a very high degree of reading blur and yet maintain very sharp distant vision. However in many cases when correction (whether prescription or over the counter magnifiers) is worn regularly, this can often lead to a gradual deterioration of distant vision. This leads to the need for bifocals or multi-lens glasses. This happens particularly in cases where the reading glasses are worn for long periods, or where the presbyope forgets to remove them when looking in the distance.

Ageing is not the only factor in the stiffening of the lens. It is also affected by our body’s tendency to use the lens as a storage facility for undigested or toxic materials. Where these toxic materials (the most important in this case now called ‘free-radicals’) may cause a deterioration in health if stored in the body’s organs, overall health is not affected by storing them in the lens of the eyes. The body recognizes and prioritizes physical impacts on health, but not on quality of life!

Presbyopia carries less of an emotional weight than that of other refractive errors, as it is more due to how we use our eyes every day and the accumulation of toxins over time. However there is a common emotional thread that impacts presbyopes which includes “I am too busy looking after everything/everyone else to take time for myself.”

Yes, you can get rid of your reading glasses, or prevent ever needing them. When the common factors in presbyopia are given some attention this deterioration process can be halted and reversed quite readily.

Pinhole glasses can be very helpful in cases of presbyopia, as they can be used for reading while the vision improvement programme is undertaken. They provide assistance in two ways. Firstly they allow the eyes room to improve rather than forcing them to conform to the prescription or magnifiers, which can become too strong very soon after commencing vision improvement practices. Secondly, rather than needing several pairs of reduced prescriptions for reading or other close work, the presbyope can use their pinholes until the vision improves to the point where no aids are needed.

Frequently presbyopia begins after 40 years or so of accumulating free radicals in the body, without sufficient antioxidants (vitamins) to help the body eliminate them. Fortunately the body is delighted to cleanse itself given a little assistance, and with some small dietary changes the presbyopia activities can really take effect. Therefore the presbyopia programme, whether prevention or full reversal, may need some attention to a shift in eating habits.

For those wishing to reverse or avoid presbypia, the Read Clearly Naturally Kit provides the information and materials necessary.


The lens is the flattened spherical clear structure at the front of the eyeball, directly behind the cornea and pupil. Each lens is surrounded by a ciliary muscle. The ciliary muscle compresses or expands the lens to the correct shape for clear focus, allowing the lens to correctly bend the light entering the pupil to create a clear vision circle on the fovea centralis (the specialized area of the retina behind the pupil, which provides centralized clear vision).

The Ciliary Muscle is the circular muscle which surrounds the lens of each eye. This muscle is responsible for shaping the lens, particularly for close vision. When near focus is sought, the ciliary muscle compresses the lens into a smaller yet thicker shape to correctly bend the light from near objects onto the fovea centralis.