Why Santa Claus Wears Glasses

Santa’s eyes get a workout every year, focusing up close to check lists twice and make sure all those toys are up to design specs. No wonder he needs those glasses perched on the tip of his nose! The magical old elf is not alone, since most of us will experience changes in vision, known as presbyopia, as we age.

Presbyopia is the gradual loss of our eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. It’s a natural part of aging that may become noticeable in the early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65. When we’re younger, the lens inside the eye flexes when we look at close objects. This flexing, known as “accommodation,” allows us to change focus from far to near and all levels in-between. With presbyopia, as the lens becomes more rigid, we lose the ability to focus up close.

Signs of Presbyopia

• 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
• Blurred distance vision when changing your focus from near to far objects.

These symptoms might be worse when someone is tired or in dim lighting.


If you think you may have presbyopia, see your Atlantic Eye physician. Presbyopia is diagnosed by a basic eye exam, which includes a refraction assessment and an eye health exam.


The goal of treatment is to compensate for the inability of your eyes to focus on nearby objects. Treatment options include wearing corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses, undergoing refractive surgery, or getting intraocular lens implants (IOLs) for presbyopia. Your Atlantic Eye opthalmologist will evaluate your presbyopia along with any other eye problems and determine the best treatment for you.

Getting older doesn’t have to mean diminished eyesight. Here’s hoping that Santa has had a comprehensive eye exam this year so he can see his lists clearly and not mix up who was naughty or nice. And to all our patients and their families, the team at Atlantic Eye wishes you joy in the beautiful sights of the season!