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Eye and Vision Care

Losing Ability to Focus in Left Eye

10/12/2009

Question:

Hi,

I am a 44-year-old male in general good health and have had excellent vision in both eyes until recently.

Over the last year, I have noticed that I am becoming less able to focus on near objects (such as reading newsprint), with my left eye being significantly worse than my right. (My left eye cannot bring 12 pt. type into clear focus nearer than approximately 19 inches, wheras my right is good at 12 inches or slightly less.) My left eye is also becoming less able to focus on distant objects, whereas my right is still good at any distance beyond 12 inches.

More recently, I have noticed a perceptible "drooping" in the eyelid and skin immediately above my left eye, below my left eyebrow, giving the impression that my left eye is trying to close. I can also feel the muscles in that area relaxing.

I had thought that this was the onset of presbyopia, but am not sure if the "drooping" indicates anything different.

Note: I am a light smoker (less than 10 cigarettes a day), and typically inhale via the left-side of my mouth, causing an habitual squint in the left eye to block out the smoke coming from the end of the cigarette. Not sure if this is relevant.

Any advice you can give would be most appreciated.

Answer:

The vision differences you notice may reflect small differences in the prescription between your eyes. Thus you may be experiencing presbyopia earlier in one eye than the other. The drooping in one eye may be due to a number of factors, most benign but some potentially serious. You eye doctor can best evaluate this.

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Response by:

Mark  Bullimore, MCOptom, PhD Mark Bullimore, MCOptom, PhD
Formerly:
Professor
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University