06 Jul 2022

Derry optician turning the page for presbyopia and reading

Derry optician turning the page for presbyopia and reading

Specsavers director Maeve Walsh.

The appetite for reading has surged during the pandemic, with more than 200 million books sold during last year – the highest figure since 2012.

However, for those who have presbyopia reading is often a struggle - but it doesn’t need to be. Specsavers is encouraging avid readers to have regular eye tests so they can continue to indulge their hobby.

Presbyopia is the gradual loss of our eyes’ ability to focus close up as the lens becomes less flexible. A natural part of ageing, it usually becomes noticeable around the age of 40. 

The condition is common and typically isn’t a cause for concern. But some struggle to adapt, and find they need to hold their book at arm’s length to read the page or direct a light on it to see the words more clearly.

For most people, the answer is a simple eye test which will identify if they need reading glasses, multi-focal glasses or contact lenses to make words clearer – and life easier. 

Maeve Walsh, director at Specsavers Crescent Link in the Waterside and Ferryquay Street in the city centre, says: “It can sometimes be difficult for people to assess themselves whether they have presbyopia, which is why we always encourage regular eye tests, usually every two years. 

“As we age, it’s completely natural for our eyesight to worsen and it shouldn’t be something we worry about, providing our eyes are in good health.

“My advice to those with presbyopia would be to carry your specs with you at all times and get into the habit of having them close by. This will help with activities like reading, and will also ensure you’re not straining your eyes, which can sometimes cause other problems.”

To find out more about presbyopia, or to book an eye test visit: and or 

Top five signs you have Presbyopia

1. Blurred vision – Do you have to hold reading material at arm's distance to see and is small print difficult for you to read?

2. Near vision problems – Do you have problems seeing things up close?

3. Headaches – Do you often suffer with headaches when trying to read/see close objects?

4. Eye strain – Do you notice yourself continually straining your eyes? Do you often squint to see clearer?

5. Over 40 years old – Are you within the 'presbyopia age'?

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