Understanding Age Related Vision Loss
Have you been experiencing blurred vision? Are you over the age of 40? Age related vision loss is one of the most common issues we diagnose for patients who are past forty years of age.
The chances of developing vision problems increase as you age, even if your eyesight was perfect before.
One of the most common eyesight complaints we hear from this age group is not being able to see clearly at a close distance. This is even more predominant for those who work at the computer or who read a lot.
Here are a few questions frequently asked by our patients regarding their vision:
1. I sometimes need more light while reading. Is that normal?
Yes, requiring more light to read is perfectly normal. As you age, the lens of your eyes changes – it becomes less flexible than it was when you were younger; that changes the focusing power of your eye, resulting in the need for more light when you read.
You might also face problems while working at a computer. Many mobile computing devices now have different lighting defaults that are gentle on your eyes while providing increased visibility in low light conditions.
2. At what age does this begin and how long will it continue to deteriorate?
Many adults begin experiencing vision problems when they reach their mid-40s. This loss of vision is because of a condition known as Presbyopia and in most cases, it is easily treatable. This condition causes the lenses of your eyes to harden, which makes it difficult for you to focus on close objects.
Your eyesight will continue to deteriorate as you grow older. You will need to change your prescription for glasses more frequently. The changes in your vision will slow down and eventually stop by the time you are around 60 years of age.
3. What can I do about this? Will glasses make it worse?
Glasses will not make your condition worse. Glasses help correct vision deterioration caused by ageing. Multi-focal eye glasses or contact lenses can be a great option for vision correction, you will only need to have one pair of glasses instead of separate pairs of glasses for reading and for distance.
4. I am having problems with glare and experiencing changes in colour perception. Is that common?
Yes, noticing additional glare from sun or headlights while driving is a common issue as your eyes age. When you are younger, light enters your eye and focuses on the retina. As you grow older, that light scatters, resulting in the creation of glare.
As for changes in colour perception, your eyes have a clear lens inside. When that lens starts to discolour, it becomes harder for you to distinguish between certain colours.
5. But I am not in my 40’s yet – do I still have presbyopia?
Although eyesight begins to deteriorate as a natural consequence of aging the onset of presbyopia can be accelerated by habitual prolonged computer use as early as your mid-30’s.
We recommend visiting your optometrist as soon as you notice a deterioration of your eyesight. Beginning treatment early helps you to avoid complications that may later arise if left unattended.