Study Finds 40 Percent Of Middle-Aged Brits Suffer From ‘Long-Arm Syndrome’

Depending on how old your mum or dad is, you might have seen them awkwardly holding their phone as far away as possible as they try to read a text message. It will usually consist of them moving the device back and forth while squinting to the point where surely their eyes must be closed.

This is called 'long-arm syndrome' or - in medical terms - presbyopia.

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

This form of long-sightedness is common in people aged over 45, with a new study by ACUVUE finding at least four out of every 10 Brits with the condition.

When mum and dad do the arm extension at a popular restaurant with the menu (they might even grab the table candle for extra effect) it can be a wee bit embarrassing - but before you criticise them, you could become them in a few decades.

Radio and television personality Sara Cox, who has presbyopia, said: "I remember the exact moment when I realised that my eyes were going a bit dodgy, I was reading the ingredients on the back of a jar - and I was in total denial.

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"I thought they've printed this label completely wrong, it can't be me, it can't be my eyes, and then I realised, it most probably was my eyes.

"My friends and I have sometimes had it in restaurants, where it's quite dark and you put the torch on your phone to see.

''It totally ruins the ambience and it's like a huge fog horn, alerting everybody else within a five-mile radius that you're over 40 - you don't need that on a night out."

It's not just restaurant menus and phone screens that become difficult to read, it's virtually anything with small print that can cause intense squinting and moving the object closer, then further away, then back again.

Credit: Creative Commons
Credit: Creative Commons

When the long-sightedness hits, you'd think to get glasses to avoid the 'long-arm syndrome'. While 90 percent of those surveyed do, the remaining group holds off from getting specs or contact lenses because they don't want to look 'old'.

Talk about clinging to youth.

No one wants to get old, but do you really want to be chucking on your phone's torch in the middle of a club or restaurant?

Ian Pyzer, professional education & development manager at Johnson & Johnson Vision said: "The research found sufferers of presbyopia resort to all kinds of coping strategies, from 'long-arm syndrome' to sharing specs when reading packaging or a bar menu.

"This could not only have a negative impact on your eyes but make everyday tasks that much harder, so impacting on work and social situations.''

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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