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Four in 10 middle aged Britons unable to see phone screens clearly, new poll finds

'If you are holding things further away or increasing the font size, then it’s likely to be the start of a natural ageing process called presbyopia'

Astrid Hall
Tuesday 13 March 2018 19:52 GMT
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The drug is targeted at the estimated 1,000 to 2,000 patients in the US with a type of inherited retinal disease caused by a mutant gene
The drug is targeted at the estimated 1,000 to 2,000 patients in the US with a type of inherited retinal disease caused by a mutant gene (Getty)

Almost four in 10 middle aged Britons are unable to see phone and tablet screens clearly, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,000 adults aged 45 and over found just under half have to resort to holding their devices at arm's length to focus their eyes properly.

Long-sightedness - which becomes more prevalent as we grow older - leaves many struggling to read small print.

Text on medicine bottles, food labels, restaurant menus and recipe books are the trickiest to decipher, those polled claimed.

Three in four of those who took part said they have difficulty reading small print, while just over three in 10 said there is a possibility they need glasses, but have made a conscious choice not to arrange to get them.

The study was commissioned by Acuvue to raise awareness of presbyopia which affects the eye’s ability to focus on nearer tasks and usually develops in your early forties.

"If you are holding things further away or increasing the font size, then it’s likely to be the start of a natural ageing process called presbyopia, which does increase as we age," said Ian Pyzer, professional education & development manager at Johnson & Johnson. Vision said. "People typically begin noticing the early signs, like small print on the back of packets, around 40-45 years of age.

The study also found just under one in six have asked friends to read things from a menu for them when they are struggling, with a handful even asking strangers to read their phone.

Others will go to the extreme length of pointing to something completely random on a menu despite having no idea what they are ordering, instead of putting on a pair of "reading glasses".

Ian Pyzer said: “Your prescription is specific to you and whilst another person’s glasses may appear suitable, using them can result in eye fatigue, headaches or blurred vision.

“This can potentially cause unwanted side effects which is why it is so important to visit an optician for an eye examination. It’s amazing how having your vision corrected, makes you realise how much easier life is again."

He added: “We would encourage anyone who is worried about their eye sight or think they might have presbyopia to visit their local optician for an eye examination and to discuss what the perfect solution is for them.’’

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