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The College of Optometrists has issued advice for those who notice a change in their vision after the clocks went back last weekend.

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom, Clinical Adviser for the College of Optometrists explains: “At this time of year, as it gets darker in the evenings, optometrists typically experience an increase in the number of people visiting for a sight test to complain about difficulty reading. Typically this will be from people in their late-thirties to mid-forties, who may have noticed that occasionally they have had to hold things further away, but now ‘their arms are now not long enough’ to see print clearly. This is due to the onset of a condition called presbyopia and can be easily treated with glasses or contact lenses. If you already wear glasses a switch to varifocals may be all that is required.”

Presbyopia is the inability to focus on things that are at normal reading distance, such as text on your mobile phone and print on packaging. It is a natural part of ageing and happens as your lens loses elasticity. Presbyopia occurs as you age, and will happen to everybody, even those who have never previously had a problem with their eyesight. It usually starts to become noticeable in your late 30s or early 40s.

If you feel your vision has gotten worse since the clocks have changed or your eyes are no longer long enough follow these three top tips:

  • Book a sight test with your optometrist, this will enable your optometrist to check the health of your eyes as well as establish whether presbyopia is the cause of your symptoms.
  • If recommended, use reading glasses, varifocals or contact lenses when reading, using a phone or any device held closer than arm’s length.
  • Try changing the settings on your phone, e-reader or tablet to make the text larger, which will help make reading easier and faster.

You can find your nearest College member on our directory.


Notes to Editors
The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.

October 29, 2020