What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia / Old Eyes / Dysfunctional lens syndrome (DLS) is a physiological visual impairment that commonly results from decrease in accommodation during aging but can be affected by other risk factors include disease, trauma, and medications.

What it the cause of presbyopia?

The crystalline lens affects the refractive power of the eye by changing its curves. When the diopter power of the lens increases (the lens becomes convex), the image of a near object is brought into focus on the retina. This process is defined as accommodation (Helmholtz, 1856). Over the years the accommodative abilities reduce gradually and as a result also the ability to focus clearly on close objects, probably because of an increase in lens rigidity / inelastic mass.

When does presbyopia happen?

The syndrome onset varies among type of distance refractive errors, pupil size and with certain professions, but it commonly affects adults around 40 years of age in Western societies, with an earlier age of onset in countries closer to the equator due to ultraviolet radiation exposure.  


Prevalence of presbyopia

Recent studies (Timothy et al., 2018(, estimate there were 1.8 billion people, 25% globally, with presbyopia in 2015 and it is expected to peak at approximately 2.1 billion in 2030 (Fricke et al., 2018).

How will you know if it happened to you?

At the beginning, individuals with presbyopia have difficulty with reading fine print or threading a needle, particularly in low light conditions and for long periods of reading. They usually complain that their arms have become "too short". As the presbyopia progress it become difficult to see clear and sharp even for short periods of reading (or other near tasks using a smartphone or computer). There is also a temporarily blurred vision when changing the viewing distance (between distance and near and vice versa).

Presbyopes who do not wear their near correction or who are under-corrected, may experience headaches and eye strain due to difficulty focusing on objects.


Impact on quality of life

There are impacts on functional aspects included emotional (sadness, depression, distress, inconvenience, annoyance and a loss of independence) work (difficulty seeing content and performing precision work, loss in productivity) financial (purchase glasses, potential loss of employment) and social impacts (need to ask others for help, difficulty recognizing faces and eating at a restaurant or playing games).

How is presbyopia treated?

The common treatment for presbyopia is using either by optical (glasses, contact lenses or using magnifiers) or refractive surgery (Charman, 2014). Recent studies suggested improvements in near visual acuity using perceptual learning training. There is still no pharmaceutical treatment that restores the natural aging of the lens.

It is estimated that around 50% of adults with presbyopia do not use suitable near correction As such, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), presbyopia is an important ocular condition affecting quality of life.

The 32ºN revolution

While you can’t prevent presbyopia you can enjoy 32ºN Sunglasses - the first (and only) adaptive sunglasses. Deep Optics has developed a novel technology for dynamic lenses with no moving parts to allow dynamic vision correction. Glasses equipped with such lenses can dynamically change their optical power to correct for different distances (for example, in the case of Presbyopia) and even change the lenses’ optical centers, and active diameter.

The underlying lens technology is based on liquid crystal (LC). The lens is built in a similar manner to a liquid crystal display (LCD), leveraging existing and reliable manufacturing production lines and processes, to assure reliable and affordable components.

We will present 32°N, the first-ever sunglasses equipped with liquid crystal lenses designed for emmetropic-presbyopic users. The glasses can change from simple Plano sunglasses to reading sunglasses in a simple swipe of the temple.