Naturally, Your Vision Wanes as You Get Older
Taking care of your eyes with an eye exam is important from infancy through your later years. And thanks in part to the devices that are now a constant in our lives, this is even more important. Smartphones, computers, tablets, and other electronics have modernized the world, but they also come with inherent risks, especially to your eyes. Blue light from these devices is causing serious problems for people of all ages, including Computer Vision Syndrome, or digital eye strain. As if this wasn’t enough to worry about, adults over the age of 40 are predisposed to a wide range of serious eye conditions. As we age, it is only natural for the body to undergo various changes. But what many people don’t realize is that your vision is one of the first things to change.
Not only are you at risk of certain eye conditions over the age of 40, but you probably will need reading glasses at some point, commonly know as presbyopia.
Making sure you visit the eye doctor regularly becomes increasingly important as you age. When you reach your 40s or 50s, you are at a higher risk of developing potentially harmful eye problems. At First Eye Care McKinney, we can help you stay on top of your vision health at all stages in life. Our comprehensive eye exams are tailored to the individual, allowing us to track how your vision has changed over the years and treat any possible conditions before they cause problems. Even if you were lucky enough to have 20-20 vision throughout your life, when you hit post-40, there’s a good chance you will find yourself squinting or unable to read up close.
Today we are going to look at some of the ways our eyes change after 40 as well as ways you can keep your eyes healthy as you get older. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an eye exam, please don’t hesitate to contact First Eye Care McKinney.
Nearing 40? Get Ready for Vision Changes
With time, your body will change, as will your eyes and vision. Of course, every person is unique and may not experience the exact same changes, but the below are common vision changes that happen in your 40s and 50s:
- Difficulty reading – Presbyopia is one of the most common vision changes affecting people over 40. It settles in when the eyes start to lose their ability to see near objects well.
- Loss of peripheral vision – Often, older adults will start to notice that their side-to-side (peripheral) vision isn’t what it used to be. In many cases, this is an early sign of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a sneaky and widely misunderstood condition that more than three million Americans are currently living with. 2.7 million of those with glaucoma are over the age of 40.
- Cloudy vision – Another common vision change adults 40 and older may experience is cloudy vision. If your vision is dim or seems clouded, it could be more than just an annoyance; it may be a sign of A reported 24.4 million Americans over 40 have cataracts, and by age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts.
- Distorted vision – Age-related macular degeneration (MD) is another common eye disorder affecting older adults. Distorted vision is one of the early signs of MD. More than 13 million Americans suffer from MD, and it is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55.
- Seeing spots and flashes of light – While it is common to see little specks of light in our vision from time to time, when these “floaters” come around more often, it could be a sign of an impending vision problem. Retinal detachment, which is a tear in the eye, can lead to loss of vision if left untreated.
- Loss of vision – If you go to the eye doctor regularly, any major vision loss should be detected. However, there are certain cases of subtle vision loss that can happen between visits. This is referred to as low vision, a condition that, unfortunately, cannot be corrected.
- Diabetes – Diabetic retinopathy is a common condition that happens with high blood pressure, especially in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This condition is even more prevalent in adults over 40. Thankfully, regular eye exams can ensure the proper management of diabetic retinopathy.
These are just several things to keep an eye out for (no pun intended) as you get older. While many common vision problems are unpreventable, there are usually steps that can protect the long-term health of your vision. At First Eye Care McKinney, we care about your vision and overall eye health. If you are over the age of 40 and have noticed any of the above or want to get a jump on caring for your eyes as you age, give us a call and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam.
What You Can Expect During Your Exam
When you come into First Eye Care McKinney, you can expect one of our specialists to check the following:
- Your vision – We will look for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia, as well as the presence of any other conditions
- How well your eye muscles coordinate
- Your pupil’s response to light
- Your ability to differentiate colors
- The overall health and function of your eyelids (inside and out)
- The health of the interior and back of the eye
- Measurement of the pressure inside the eyes (too much pressure may be an early warning sign of glaucoma)
You should expect the above in any routine eye exam over the age of 40. We evaluate all aspects of the eyes to ensure the patient isn’t displaying any symptoms of the common vision problems mentioned earlier. If you have any questions about this or would like clarification regarding anything, please do not hesitate to give us a call today.
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy as You Age
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your vision is to see an optometrist for an eye exam as soon as you turn 40. This will provide a baseline of your vision, allowing our doctors to track any changes and identify any potential problems. Other ways to keep your eyes healthy in your 40s and 50s include:
- Wear protective eyewear
- Take a break from digital screens
- Make sure you maintain a healthy blood pressure level
- Control diabetes
- Keep up with your regular eye exams
If you have any questions about how to keep your eyes healthy over 40 or what you can expect from an eye exam as you get older, please give First Eye Care McKinney a call today.