If you’ve noticed the need to squint more or if you are adjusting the length of your arm to read something, it might be you are part of an age group that is experiencing common vision problems.
As we age, our bodies change and that includes our eyes. While this is part of the natural process of getting older, it’s important to be aware of these age-related changes to our vision, as early detection helps with managing these issues.
We’ve put together a guide for what changes with our eyes as we age and what to lookout for with the help of your eye doctor.
For most of us, youth is on our side when it comes to vision problems. Most adults in their 20s and 30s have healthy eyes and most vision problems can treated effectively with corrective eyewear or contact lenses. That said, the key to preventing vision problems in the future is being proactive now. Protecting your eyes from UV rays, limiting your exposure to harmful blue light, eating right, and not smoking can all help decrease the risk of age-related issues when you are older. It’s still important to schedule an annual eye exam with your optometrist to keep your prescription current.
Most adults start experiencing vision issues in 40s and presbyopia is one of the most common issues to appear. Presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, is a decline of the ability to focus your eyes due to hardening on lenses of your eyes. This makes it more difficult to see up close. At first, you can compensate for this by adjusting the length of your reading materials to your eyes. However, to help see better, you may eventually have to have bifocals, reading glasses, or multifocal contact lenses. It’s important to visit your optometrist if find yourself constantly adjusting your focus to see clearly so your can get a proper prescription.
Getting into our 50s, the risks associated with your vision increases. Eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration become much more of a concern to individuals in their 50s. Glaucoma is of particular concern, especially if you have a family history with the disease. Catching and managing glaucoma early can help as you age. Other common conditions your eyes may experience at this age are increased glare and dry eyes, especially for women entering menopause. It’s important to visit with an eye doctor if you notice any noticeable vision changes or if you have any new, major health diagnoses such as diabetes or hypertension. Stay on top of your health by eating foods rich in the vitamins and nutrients your eyes need to keep healthy.
Cataracts are probably the number one concern for everyone as we age. In fact, they will eventually happen to all of us if we live long enough. Caused by tiny clumps of proteins in the eyes which block light and dim your vision, cataracts are so common that they’re considered a normal part of the aging process. Surgery is the only option to help. Other vision issues we may experience as we age include disturbances to your vision such as spots & floaters, which could be a sign of retinal detachment. It also becomes more difficult to see more clear in low-light situations. For most elderly individuals, the ability to detect color declines and fields of vision begin to narrow. Ask your optometrist about eyewear or lenses to help increase the contrast in your vision.
No matter what your age, always be aware of any changes in your vision, live a healthy lifestyle, make smart dietary choices, and see an optometrist for yearly eye exams to keep your eyes healthy for years to come! Contact Metro Eye to schedule an appointment with our resident optometrists Dr. Amy Jankowski, Dr. Amanda Kopczyk, or Dr. Kaelyn Zaporski today.