Presbyopia, also popularly called age-related long-sightedness, is a refractive error caused by the loss of elasticity of the lens. Over the years the crystalline lens, the natural lens of the eye, becomes more rigid and therefore less flexible. This process hinders accommodation, which is the ability to focus on objects at different distances.

Presbyopia generally starts to appear around age 40 and develops gradually. To a lesser or greater extent, absolutely all of us will end up suffering from presbyopia. Usually, people with myopia tend to start detecting symptoms a little later, while patients with hyperopia are more likely to suffer from it before the average age, around 45 years.

Presbyopia has a growth limit. Its progression usually stops when it adds around 3.5 diopters to the initial eye prescription. Normally it stops progressing between the ages of 60 and 65, although its evolution will depend on the habits of each patient.

Dr. Paola Sauvageot, ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre