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We are all aware that our eyes change with age. Some changes are especially common in maturity and aging. These changes may begin as early as 20. Some changes may be ignored, but some may interfere with daily activities. One common change is a decrease in the size of the pupil of the eye. As a result, less light is allowed into the eye. Some people may simply need a brighter source of light, but the condition becomes more pronounced after age 30.
By the time one reaches 40, the eyes have increasing difficulty focusing up close. This is a normal aging change; the lens inside the eye is unable to focus on nearby objects. This condition is known as presbyopia and occurs with age in varying degrees in everyone. There is no exercise or medication that will reverse the process. “Reading” glasses or bifocals are often necessary although contract lenses may help.
Everyone should have their vision checked at least every two years. If new glasses do not correct this problem, it is strongly recommended that a competent examination by an ophthalmologist be done as soon as possible.
You might need two different pairs of glasses to correct your vision as you get older.
Watch the video to learn more about how your vision changes as you get older.
The structure of the eye changes with age, which can ultimately affect vision. Changes in the lens and iris of the eye lead to a decreased ability to focus properly so a person will need to hold an object farther from the eye to get it in focus. Also, the older eye adapts more slowly to changes in lighting conditions due to the pupil becoming more rigid and the lens less clear. These changes increase glare, making driving at night especially difficult. Older individuals also cannot discriminate color differences as well, and contrast becomes less noticeable.
You experience dry eyes when tear glands cannot make enough tears or produce poor quality tears. Allergies can also contribute to eye dryness, which can be uncomfortable. Allergies and dry eyes increase with age. Certain medications can affect your tear output and cause dry eyes. Over-the-counter artificial tears that lubricate the eye are the main treatment for dry eyes.
At age forty, it is important to start getting your eyes examined every one to two years or more often if you have vision problems, a family history of eye problems, former eye injuries, or diabetes.
With age, women lose the ability to see close objects or small print clearly. This is a normal process that happens slowly over a lifetime. Some find they need reading glasses, or bifocals or progressive lenses, which combine two prescriptions into one pair of glasses. The upper half of bifocals and progressive lenses corrects distance vision and the lower half corrects close-up vision.
With age comes the inevitable decline of the size of the pupil. When this change occurs it means that the eye will absorb less light and people will require brighter lights in order to see clearly. Additionally, the reduced numbers of receptors can cause insufficient light from getting into the eye. As the cells and receptors lose function or reduce in amount, the eye requires more light. Also, the amount of photons that are required in order to see something or activate a response increases.
Additionally, there is a degeneration of cells, along with the cells inabilities to make a receptors or the ability to make good receptors. Once an individual reaches their 40’s, the lenses inside the eye are unable to focus on objects that are near. This change is called presbyopia.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.