Your Eyes After 50, What to Expect
posted: Jan. 28, 2022.
Between the ages of 40 and 65, our eyes can go through significant changes. The lens inside your eye begins to harden as you reach your 50's, resulting in changes to your eye and presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). Presbyopia is the difficulty to focus on close is the most common change most people notice. It begins in your early 40s and continues to advance through your 50s and beyond. If presbyopia is left uncorrected, you may find your eyes tire easily and you may get headaches.
Reading glasses (aka readers) will help many to see better with presbyopia. Presbyopia can also be corrected with contact lenses or surgery. People who have trouble seeing both near and far may benefit from progressive lenses. For people who have cataracts removed may choose to have intraocular lenses (IOLs) that correct for presbyopia. Early signs of these eye diseases can begin in midlife, though they may not be noticeable right away. The earlier these diseases are diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of preserving good vision.
It's very important to get a baseline comprehensive eye exam at age 40, even for people who have no symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease. Early detection of eye health problems can often prevent irreversible vision loss or even blindness. A comprehensive exam will look for signs of:
- diabetic retinopathy
- age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
In addition to a comprehensive eye exam, it's necessary to follow a healthy lifestyle. It's important to eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of daily exercises, wear UV-blocking sunglasses when outdoors, get at least 7 hours of rest, and give your eyes a break. The 20-20-20 rule can help you rest your eyes. To relieve eye strain, look at something else for at least 20 seconds at 20 feet away, every 20 minutes.