As we age, our eyes start to show an age-related decline in performance. The decline typically starts in your 40s and continues as you get older.
There are some subtle changes in your eye structure and vision that occur.
- The muscle that controls the size of the pupil and how it reacts to light get weaker which leads to reduced pupil size. Older people, such as those in their 60s, will need more light to maintain good vision.
- The body produces fewer tears as it gets older, which results in dry eyes. Burning, red and teary eyes are symptoms of dry eyes.
Some changes are more noticeable than those mentioned above. These changes are a little more serious and usually, require glasses or surgery to help you cope with them. Two major changes that affect everyone are presbyopia and age-related macular degeneration.
In your 40s and 50s, you will notice that it is more difficult to focus on objects that are closer to you. This is known as Presbyopia. At first, you may be able to compensate for Presbyopia, by moving the object you are trying to focus on a little further away. When this doesn’t help anymore, it’s best to visit your Optometrist, who can then establish if a simple pair of reading glasses or more advanced Varifocal lenses are needed. Presbyopia is the natural hardening of the lens of the eye. The lens loses its flexibility, making near tasks more difficult.
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is an age-related eye disease that can affect you later in life. But it’s not just age that raises your chances of getting the disease. Genetics, health (Hypertension, Diabetes) and external factors (harmful UV rays) all play a role.
AMD affects your central vision and can be devastating if not treated early.
If you are over 40 and are worried about your eyesight, it is a good idea to make an appointment with an optometrist. Even if you are not over 40, it is still a good idea to get your eyes looked at to make sure there are no problems.
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