Presbyopia or short arm syndrome and reading glasses

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  Reading glasses can be a viable alternate to prescription glasses in cases of "short arm" syndrome, that is, presbyopia.

Presbyopia or "short arm" syndrome.

Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens in the eye loses its elasticity and makes it difficult to focus on close objects.

Presbyopia is not a disease as such, but a condition that affects everyone of a certain age. It is a natural ageing process of the eye. Presbyopia, or farsightedness, may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of the lens' flexibilty takes place over a number of years. The first symptoms are usually noticed between the ages of 40-50, but the ability to focus starts to deteriorate from quite an early age. This condition cannot be prevented.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Difficulty seeing clearly for close work
  • Print seems to have less contrast
  • Brighter, more direct light is needed for reading
  • Reading material must be held further away, hence "short arm" syndrome
  • Fatigue and eyestrain, maybe headaches when reading

Detection and Diagnosis

Presbyopia is detected with an eye examination.


The treatment for presbyopia can be very straightforward. If the patient has good distance vision and only has problems with close work, then reading glasses can be the simplest solution. For others, bifocals (glasses with reading and distance corrections) or separate pairs of reading and distance glasses may be necessary.


Face Furniture Frames Online have for sale, top quality reading glasses.

The lenses are polycarbonate and aspheric meaning there is no distortion in the lens no matter where your eye looks through the lens up, down or sideways. This is why expensive cameras all utilise this same technology.

Please DON'T buy cheap reading glasses - these generally have cheap perspex lenses which cause distortion and they are not comfortable to use for any length of time. You are just wasting your money!


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