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How Your Vision Changes as You Age

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As we age, we naturally start to lose some of the visual abilities we had when we were younger. While aesthetically they may look the same, there are lots of changes going on inside your eyes. Read on to learn about the subtle, and not so subtle ways your eyes – and vision – change as you age!

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is an extremely common eye condition that usually occurs after the age of 40. In presbyopia, the lens inside your eye starts to harden, making focusing on near objects increasingly difficult. While at the start you may be able to compensate by simply holding items farther away, you’ll eventually need prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Cataracts

The development of cataracts is part of the expected age-related changes that your eyes undergo. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens and results in blurred vision. The good news is that modern cataract surgery is extremely safe and effective, and can usually restore 100% of vision lost due to cataract formation. Chat with your optometrist to learn more!

Other Age-Related Vision Changes

  • Decreased color vision. The cells in our retinas that are responsible for color vision become less sensitive as we age. This can cause colors to seem less bright, and can make color distinction more difficult.
  • Dry eyes. As we get older, our bodies start to produce fewer tears. This can lead to dryness, redness and irritation. These symptoms are easily managed – consult your optometrist to learn more.
  • Smaller pupils. Your pupils become smaller and less responsive to light as you get older. This means you’ll require more light in order to see and read things. It also affects how quickly you adjust to drastic changes in light (ex. walking out into the sun after being in a dimly lit theatre).
  • Decreased peripheral vision. Our visual field decreases approximately 1-3 degrees each decade! This is especially important to keep in mind while driving, because you’ll have to compensate for the loss in peripheral vision by fully turning your head to check for obstacles.

Visit Your Optometrist

While many changes to your vision are a natural part of aging, it’s important to monitor these changes to make sure they aren’t an indicator of a more serious issue. Make sure you’re visiting your optometrist at least once a year for an eye exam to monitor your eye health as you age.

If you’re looking for an optometrist in the Edmonton or Beaumont area, contact The Vision Gallery today!

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