Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022

Dom Joly health: ‘It really creeps up on you’ – comedian on progressive health condition

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Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. Often a natural part of ageing, noticing the effects of the condition can become irritating on your life, as Dom himself has noticed. Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Dom spoke about how he discovered he had presbyopia and why he has teamed up with Specsavers to teach the public all about the condition.

“What’s weird about it is that it happened so slowly,” Dom recalled.

“I think a lot of people don’t notice it for a while, but when you are over the age of 45, and I am just over 45, you just start to realise.

“The first thing I realised was that when I was staying in a hotel and in the shower, for some reason they always write ‘shampoo’ and ‘conditioner’ with really small type, and I couldn’t read it.

“And I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I wonder if my eyes are just tired.’ I had never thought about my eyes being tired before.”

Dom’s first experience with presbyopia is common for a lot of people. The Mayo Clinic explains that individuals tend to become aware of the condition when they start to hold books and newspapers at arm’s length in order to read them.

After the age of 40 individuals may experience symptoms such as:

  • A tendency to hold reading material farther away to make the letters clearer
  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance
  • Eyestrain or headaches after reading or doing close-up work.

In addition, your eyesight might become worse when you are tired or in a dimly lit room.

Dom continued to explain how he tried to overcome his symptoms at first: “I just adapted.

“The font on my iPhone started getting bigger and bigger, and that kind of turned on a light in my observation.

“I was like ‘Oh, my God’. It is something that really creeps up on you.”

Once Dom realised that his eyesight was far from the perfect 20:20 vision he thought he possessed, he went to his local optician, who advised him to wear glasses.

“Oh, my God, the moment I put on proper glasses, I was like ‘What have I been doing!’

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UK3-V_wFIJ4

“Especially as I spend a lot of time reading and writing. Once I got glasses it was crazy. It was really good.”

The Mayo Clinic explains that presbyopia is caused by the hardening of the lens in your eye. This occurs with ageing, and as your lens becomes less flexible it can no longer change shape to focus on close-up or distant images. As a result, images appear out of focus.

Like Dom, the condition can be diagnosed through a simple eye examination and can be treated with corrective glasses, contact lenses or lens implant surgery.

Glasses are a simple and safe way to correct vision problems, caused by presbyopia, but it is always best to go for an eye test in case there might be an underlying cause of symptoms.

Experiencing such success, Dom is urging others who may be experiencing similar symptoms to go and get their eyes checked.

“I weirdly like wearing glasses,” Dom added. “I know some people don’t like glasses, and I get it, I think certain reading glasses where you have to peer over, you are only one step away from wearing them on a chain and then proper middle age starts to kick in.

“But my point is that you probably need glasses for a couple of years before you get them, so don’t bother struggling with it, just bite the bullet.”

For more information and to book an eye appointment, visit www.specsavers.co.uk/eye-health/presbyopia

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