Once you turn 40, don’t be surprised if things begin to look and feel differently. Hair may become gray, your eardrums weaken, muscles begin to ache and your sight deteriorates. Vision changes in your focusing power don't actually start in your 40’s, they have been occurring gradually since childhood.
Starting in your early to mid 40s, you may begin noticing changes in your vision while reading or using electronic devices. This change is normal and known as presbyopia and can progress over time. It’s important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmologist to maintain proper eye health.
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is the irreversible loss of the accommodative ability of the eye that occurs due to aging. Losing this focusing ability for near vision occurs because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This flexibility allows the eye to change focus from objects that are far away to objects that are close. Despite its ubiquity, the exact mechanism behind presbyopia remains unknown.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), adults over 40 who have the following issues are at risk for developing vision problems; they include:
Those who are not at risk may still encounter problems after 40, which can be frustrating. This is also the age when early signs of eye disease and vision changes can begin. After receiving a comprehensive eye exam, your ophthalmologist will make recommendations on ways to improve your vision. They include:
Do not ignore these changes, it’s very important to address them to help maintain good eye health for the years to come. It is recommended that everyone should see an ophthalmologist for a baseline medical eye exam at age 40. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Contact us to schedule your appointment or if you have questions about your vision care.