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Presbyopia: The Heartbreak of Baby Boomers

--Death and taxes aren't the only sure things in life. Experts say reading glasses are inevitable for almost everyone over 40 years old. CBS Medical Correspondent Emily Senay has the story.

The problem lies with aging eyes, particularly a condition called presbyopia. As children, people can focus on things as much as an inch away. By about 50 years old, however, many eyes can only focus a yard or two away.

The usual solution is to wear glasses or contact lenses. Over-the-counter drug store glasses reportedly work fine, provided both eyes have similar needs and the glasses are chosen carefully. Experts advise choosing the right strength for your needs.

Some contact lenses can achieve an intentional imbalance, using one eye to focus on distance and the other to read. This correction method takes some getting used to, and some people learn to adapt. Others, though, never get used to it and even if they do, they lose much of the middle distance.

No-line bifocals provide another option. They are actually multi-focus lenses, capturing the middle distance. They are different from old-style bifocals, where patients either see only long distance or close-up.

Additionally, even the most advanced treatments may not fully correct vision impairment. LASIK surgery (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) may correct myopia (nearsightedness), but some patients may still need the help of reading glasses.

Several experimental treatments for presbyopia are now undergoing trials. But, experts say, a definitive therapy is still years away.

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