Presbyopia: Effectiveness of correction strategies

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2019 Jan;68:124-143. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2018.09.004. Epub 2018 Sep 19.


Presbyopia is a global problem affecting over a billion people worldwide. The prevalence of unmanaged presbyopia is as high as 50% of those over 50 years of age in developing world populations, due to a lack of awareness and accessibility to affordable treatment, and is even as high as 34% in developed countries. Definitions of presbyopia are inconsistent and varied, so we propose a redefinition that states "presbyopia occurs when the physiologically normal age-related reduction in the eye's focusing range reaches a point, when optimally corrected for distance vision, that the clarity of vision at near is insufficient to satisfy an individual's requirements". Strategies for correcting presbyopia include separate optical devices located in front of the visual system (reading glasses) or a change in the direction of gaze to view through optical zones of different optical powers (bifocal, trifocal or progressive addition spectacle lenses), monovision (with contact lenses, intraocular lenses, laser refractive surgery and corneal collagen shrinkage), simultaneous images (with contact lenses, intraocular lenses and corneal inlays), pinhole depth of focus expansion (with intraocular lenses, corneal inlays and pharmaceuticals), crystalline lens softening (with lasers or pharmaceuticals) or restored dynamics (with 'accommodating' intraocular lenses, scleral expansion techniques and ciliary muscle electrostimulation); these strategies may be applied differently to the two eyes to optimise the range of clear focus for an individual's task requirements and minimise adverse visual effects. However, none fully overcome presbyopia in all patients. While the restoration of natural accommodation or an equivalent remains elusive, guidance is given on presbyopic correction evaluation techniques.

Keywords: Contact lenses; Monovision; Multifocal; Prebyopic corrections; Presbyopia; Refractive surgery; Spectacles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology
  • Aging / physiology
  • Ciliary Body / physiology
  • Contact Lenses
  • Eyeglasses
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology
  • Lenses, Intraocular
  • Presbyopia / physiopathology
  • Presbyopia / therapy*
  • Refractive Surgical Procedures
  • Visual Acuity / physiology