Presbyopia: an annoying but natural vision change

Once we hit the age of 40, presbyopia - or inability to focus - tends to strike. The good news is that this common vision problem affecting around one-quarter of all people with ageing eyes tends to stop worsening as you get older.

By Citro partner nib

Preserve your eyesight with these top tips

Presbyopia - it sounds awful but is remarkably common.

It happens as we age and the lens at the front of the eye becomes less flexible, making it harder to focus on close objects. It’s easily treatable with reading glasses from the optometrist.  

Alas, visual impairment and eyesight problems are strongly related to ageing. Prevalence rates for both visual impairment and blindness are greater among older age groups, as are rates of most sight-threatening eye conditions.

That’s why regular eye check-ups are vital - not only to give you reading glasses if you need them, but also to uncover serious eye diseases which can be treated before there is any long-term vision loss.

Medicare allows free eye checks at an optometrist every 3 years if you’re under 65 and one eye test a year, if you are over 65 years.

If the optometrist doesn't bulk bill, you will be able to claim some of your costs by submitting a claim to Medicare. Medicare doesn't cover the cost of glasses or contact lenses. Read more on Services Australia.

If you have private health insurance you may be able to claim for glasses or contact lenses. This will depend on your insurer and your level of cover.

For example, with nib Extras cover, you can get between 60%-75% back on optical1, plus have your choice of healthcare provider.

Getting regular eye checks will help you stay on top of vision changes and any risks of eye diseases.

Common signs you need your vision checked

There are different symptoms of eyesight deterioration.

Here are some common symptoms that are worth getting checked by an optometrist or doctor:

  • Struggling with depth perception. 
  • Increased difficulty with writing or reading.
  • Seeing flashes of light from the corner of your eyes.
  • Finding it difficult to perform previously easy tasks, such as buttoning up a shirt.
  • Struggling to drive at night.
  • Misjudging steps or not seeing obstacles.
  • Knocking things over.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Seeing spots of ‘floaters’ in your eyes.
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Reduced colour vision.
  • Vision loss at the edges or centre of your vision.
  • Increased sensitivity to glare (especially if you drive at night).
  • Dry eyes.

Back to feed

No-gap optical benefits with nib Health Insurance

Citro members can enjoy no-gap optical offers at Specsavers and other nib optical partners2.

Citro members can enjoy up to $300 cashback for singles and up to $600 cashback for couples purchasing an eligible combined nib Hospital + Extras cover by 31 July, 2024. nib will also waive the 2 and 6 month waiting periods, which means you can claim straight away on Extras such as optical3.

The offer is only available to those who pay through their Citro Card. Want your own card? Get the Citro App

1. Annual limits and waiting periods apply.

2. Claiming optical benefits is subject to your chosen level of Extras cover, relevant waiting periods being served, and sufficient annual limits remaining. Benefits only payable on prescription Optical Appliances. nib Fund Rules and Policy booklet terms apply.

Stock and brands are subject to availability and may vary from store to store. Lens upgrades such as tinting, coating or hardening of lenses not included unless specified. Not available in conjunction with any other offer or discount, unless specified. Present your valid health fund card in store to redeem these offers. Offer available to eligible members of nib and health insurance brands underwritten by nib. Offers are not redeemable for cash.

3. The Offer is only available to new members who are Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia, or those who are entitled to full reciprocal rights under Medicare, registered for Medicare and listed on an active Medicare card, and who join an eligible combined Hospital and Extras policy by 11:59pm 31 July 2024. Ineligible products include Basic Kickstarter, Basic Accident Hospital and Value Extras. Not available to existing health insurance policyholders with nib, AAMI, Apia, Suncorp, nib, ING, GU Health, Priceline, Qantas, Real Health Insurance or Seniors Health Insurance, or to previous policyholders who have held health insurance with any of these brands and cancelled their policy 6 months before or during the Offer Period.  
The Offer consists of:
- Up to $600 cashback on your Citro card: The Offer consists of 6 monthly cashback payments to be applied to the Eligible Members Citro card for a 6 month period, beginning in month 3 of membership to an amount equating to a maximum total of AUD $300 (inclusive of GST) for single policies and an amount equating to a maximum  total of AUD $600 (inclusive of GST) for single-parent family, couple and family policies.  
- Waived waits:  2 & 6 month waiting periods will be waived for Eligible Members on all Extras services that normally require a 2 or 6 month waiting period under the Eligible Product. The Waiver will be fulfilled at the time the Eligible Member takes out the Eligible Product.  Longer waiting periods may apply for some services.
The Eligible Member must maintain the qualifying policy up to the date of the Offer being applied to the policy, as outlined in the terms and conditions. The Offer will be forfeited if the Eligible Member is not an active policyholder on this date. Not available with any other offer unless otherwise stated.
See full terms and conditions.  
For full terms and conditions regarding Citro’s cashback, please visit
Citro cashback terms and conditions.

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