Optometrist & Eyewear

How Does Your Vision Change As You Age?

As you grow older, your body goes through various changes. As your physical strength decreases, your eyes change along with the rest of you and their performance deteriorates, especially when you reach your 60s.

Many people believe that growing older comes with loss of sight, and usually don’t seek medical care for eye problems because they believe that nothing can be done, which is not necessarily true. There are some age-related eye changes that don’t signify any disease, such as presbyopia. However, there are also some age-related diseases, such as cataracts that are very common among seniors and can be easily corrected with surgery.

There are other more serious age-related eye conditions with greater potential for affecting your quality of life as you age, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Age-related Changes in Vision

It is not uncommon for children to need glasses at an early age, especially if one or both parents wear glasses. Astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness are genetically inherited traits, and the children will need glasses at sometime in their lives.

Generally adult’s in their 20-30’s have healthy eyes and can easily treat their vision problems with corrective contact lenses or glasses. Especially if their job entails a lot of computer work, many may suffer from computer vision syndrome and an Optometrist can help give tips to help reduce the effects of computer vision syndrome and even prescribe a pair of eyeglasses just for computer work to alleviate eye strain.

Around age 40

As most people approach 40 years, they start to experience an eye condition called presbyopia, or the hardening of eye lenses, which makes it difficult to focus on items that are very close.

Actually, every adult goes through this lens hardening, so it is not something to be concerned about. You can reduce the impact by holding any reading material a bit further from your face, though you will probably need a glasses prescription once you turn 40.

Around age 50

As you age, your lenses continue to harden, meaning that you will probably need to update your prescription more often to keep up with the sight deterioration. If you got glasses for presbyopia at 40, you might need another pair of glasses, so you have two: one for reading and another for performing daily chores. Alternatively you can also go into a pair of progressive glasses which are multifocal lenses that provide a seamless progression of many lens power for all viewing distances. This may be a more convenient option for those who find it a hassle to constantly alternate between two pairs of glasses.

Around age 60

When you reach 60, you become vulnerable to a number of eye problems that your eye doctor can help you identify. Common eye problems include glaucoma, characterized by increase in blood pressure in the eye leading to the loss of sight; cataracts, whereby the lenses become more opaque, making it harder to see; and macular degeneration, where deterioration of the retina causes loss of sight.

Many age-related eye problems are initially asymptomatic, so it is important that you visit your eye doctor at least once a year, or the moment you notice signs of vision-related problems. To increase the health of your eyes, wear glasses, eat a healthy diet rich in vitamin A, exercise frequently, and avoid smoking.

Dr. Harpal Grewal

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