Your eyes are as sharp as can be, and you can see a speck of dust 10 feet away. Great! But as relieving as that sounds, it will likely not remain the same forever. Vision typically starts to deteriorate after age 40, even though you’ve never had a history of eye problems. Most times, it’s part of the aging process.
Some vision problems may also result from poor lifestyle habits you’ve lived with for decades. Whatever the case, knowing what potential eye problems you may face as you get older can help you be better prepared and screen early for symptoms.
Below are four eye problems you may start to experience after clocking 40:
Presbyopia is the gradual decline in the flexibility of the lens. When this happens, the lens can no longer refocus when switching from near objects to distant objects. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to see far objects clearly, and you may need to squint or use reading glasses.
Presbyopia is entirely age-related and affects everyone (to different degrees) after age 40. But the good news is there are many treatment options for it.
You can use reading glasses to correct presbyopia. But if you don’t like the inconvenience, consider a more permanent corrective surgery like LASIK or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). While LASIK only reshapes the cornea, RLE addresses the underlying problem by changing the lens. RLE will also reduce your risk of getting cataracts. This leads us to the next item on the list…
A cataract is a vision problem that usually comes as one gets older beyond age 40. It occurs when your lens starts to get cloudy. In most instances, you can detect the progression of cataracts when it begins to feel like you’re looking through a foggy window. Colors may also start going yellowish, and night vision becomes poorer.
Cataracts happen over time as the lens constantly filters out ultraviolet radiation. The lens takes a hit trying to protect your eyes and gradually turns yellow.
Cataracts develop very slowly, and you may not feel any signs even at 75. If it becomes an issue, replacing your clouded lens through Refractive Lens Exchange is usually the best solution.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve gets damaged. Hence, signals from the eye to the brain become impaired, leading to poor vision.
The damage can result from several reasons, usually due to the build-up of fluid in your eye. The fluid exerts pressure that causes the optic nerve to die over time.
You can use eye drops to lower the pressure in the eye. There are also oral medications, although the quickest and most effective solutions include laser treatment surgeries. For starters, you can check online resources like WebMD, EyeFacts, MedlinePlus, or Mayo Clinic to understand your options and the right questions. But be sure to consult with a professional for more details.
The macular is the part of the eye responsible for central vision and detecting fine details. As you get older, the macular thins, leading to blurred vision.
Age isn’t the only risk factor for macular vision. Genetics and lifestyle habits like smoking and poor diets are also culprits.
If you are not there yet, it may help to get good diets containing eye foods like vitamin C and other antioxidants. Consider quitting smoking as well.
Sadly, there is currently no treatment for macular degeneration. However, doctors can help improve your vision slightly. Early detection matters. The longer the degeneration progresses, there are fewer things doctors can do.
The importance of healthy lifestyle practices and a good diet can never be understated. However, age isn’t always on our side, even when we live healthy lives. Thankfully, you can always improve your vision even as age works against you.