age-related vision-why you didn’t “see” it coming!

age-related vision-why you didn't "see" it coming!

It felt like just the other day that you could read a book from start to finish with your nose caught between the pages. Now your arms don’t seem long enough to hold the morning paper far enough to read the headline article! What happened?

As we know, with age comes ageing and our eyes are no exception. Without thinking about it, your eyes automatically adjust to accommodate your vision needs, be it looking at something in the distance or reading text up close. This innate focusing mechanism is accredited to the naturally flexible lens that is able to change shape quickly.  Many adults over 40 begin struggling with near distance reading and focusing due to the eye losing focus ability. Light enters the eye and must pass through the cornea, lens and various fluids found in the eye before landing on the light-sensitive tissue found in the retina at the back of the eye.  When light is unable to land here, a vision defect may be present that can affect vision acuity up close or far away.  It’s a condition called presbyopia and unfortunately it progresses with time.

The good news is that presbyopia can be helped with a few options that assist with this annoying little reminder that we’re getting older, but before we get to that, what are some of these aides-mémoires, that prompt us to know our eyes are changing?

  • The room seems darker because you need more light to see as well as you did before.
  • The further away you hold the book, the easier it is to read.
  • Glare becomes glaringly apparent! Especially when driving.
  • Dry and itchy eyes, mostly where women are concerned where less tears are being produced due to hormonal changes.
Aiding the inevitable

Your options include those that ultimately compensate for the loss of focus on nearby objects. These include wearing spectacles (or contact lenses), refractive surgery, or lens implants. When you’ve reached arms’ length (literally and figuratively), it’s time to consider one of the above!

After your eye examination, should the optometrist recommend prescription readers, it’s for good reason. Over the counter spectacles have the same power in each lens, however, each eye might require different lens powers. Similarly, over the counter spectacles can either be too weak or too strong for what your eyes require them for.

When choosing spectacles, try on a few pairs until you find the magnification that suits your reading. Non-prescription spectacles are a simple and safe option whereby magnifying lenses are held in frames that help with focus on nearby print material.

Slow down the onset of presbyopia with these few tips!

Stick to your leafy greens and fish! All the vitamins for healthy vision are packed in these.

Don’t forget to exercise either because oxygen flow to your eyes is vital for the removal of toxins.

Keep your hands clean to avoid nasty germs entering the eyes.

Lastly, kick the nicotine! Smoking causes high levels of oxidative stress for your eyes.

There’s no going back!

Eye degeneration is real and it’s irreversible. It’s crucial that we take care of our eyes as we get older and also, that we start taking steps to slow down the further degeneration of them at the onset. Regular eye exams are highly advised for everybody as you start to age, but at the end of the day you should consult your optometrist for the best solution!