Loss in accommodation with aging is very gradual and for most people, there is usually no problem in adjusting until the fourth decade of life. By age 45, however, the loss in accommodation is usually great enough so that many individuals can no longer read a newspaper at a comfortable 12 to 14 inches from their eyes, but must hold it at least 18 inches away in order to see it clearly. Further, the dim light that was once good enough to read by is no longer sufficient. The result can be eyestrain and headaches after reading and close work. (Presbyopia has no effect upon distant vision.)
Reading glasses, which compensate for the lack of power of accommodation, will bring the near point closer, and permit the individual to see clearly at a comfortable working distance. Reading glasses will, however, make distant objects appear blurred, and are of no value for any other purpose than close viewing. Since there is a progressive loss in the power to accommodate, near vision, even with reading glasses, usually continues to deteriorate, and stronger reading glasses are required as the individual ages. By the age of 70, usually, near vision is generally stabilized, and further correction is not needed.