Our bodies change in many ways as we get older. Wrinkles, achy joints, memory loss, and weight gain around your waist are some of the most common areas people talk about when it comes to signs of aging.
There are many telltale signs that you are getting older As we get older, there are there are early signs that start to come up that indicate we’re starting to age… and the eyes don’t lie when it comes to age either.
Did you know that your eyes can reveal signs of aging as early as 40 And if you’re there now, you might have noticed that you have to hold smaller print items further away from you to be able to read them clearly. And no, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you if this has just started happening.
The reason you’re needing to move things further away from your eyes is that your ability to focus up close might be getting weaker – and this completely normal as we get older.
You could also be experiencing a very common eye condition called presbyopia. Which simply means “aging eye” in Greek.
But don’t worry. While this age-related issue has no cure, you can manage it in multiple ways.
Get an eye exam
One of the first steps in understanding what’s going on with your eyes and your eyesight overall is to get a complete eye exam. The recommended age for a complete eye exam is said to be 40 (American Academy of Ophthalmology – AAO), which is generally when the early signs of aging and vision changes start to occur.
Obviously, if you are experiencing eye issues and you’re younger than 40, you should see an eye care specialist now. Also, if your family has a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or eye disease, regular eye exams are recommended.
If you are 65 and older, the AAO recommends getting your eyes checked every couple of years.
Once you’ve had your eye exam and your optometrist advises you have presbyopia, what’s next?
Let’s first understand what presbyopia is. It’s the process of refraction occurring in the eye. This is where the cornea and lens bend (refract) the rays of light as they come through the pupil. This allows the retina to focus. The retina will then convert that light into messages that are sent to your optic nerve in the brain. They are then interpreted into the images we see.
But as the early signs of aging show, as we get older, the lens of the eye becomes harder and less flexible, causing it to lose the ability to focus light directly onto the retina. Because of this hardening and inflexibility, the light is focused behind the retina, which results in blurred close vision.
Aging can also weaken the muscle within the eye, which can also make it harder for us to focus on close objects.
During your eye exam, a refraction assessment helps determine if you have presbyopia or not.
Slow down aging of the eyes
Our eyes start to age after we turn 35, so it’s important that we look after our eyes.
You can start by doing the following things to keep your eyes healthy and focused for as long as possible.
- Always protect your eyes from too much sun. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outside.
- If you’re a smoker, you could be putting your eyes at risk. Studies show that smoking can increase the risk of eye-related diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.
- Eat healthy foods that are natural. Fish, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, carrots, and leafy greens can help with your eyesight and overall eye health.
- Keep your blood pressure within the normal recommended levels. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, make sure you’re managing this now.
- If your job requires you to spend a lot of time on the computer, or you need to stay focused on one thing for long periods of time, don’t forget to blink. This rehydrates your eyes. And every 20 minutes, look away for about 20 seconds to stop eye strain. Wearing glasses to block blue light while looking at your computer or devices is also a good way to keep your eyes healthier for longer.
Solutions for managing presbyopia
One of the most common solutions for managing presbyopia is eyeglasses that are able to help you focus on close work. While you can purchase reading glasses at many drug and department stores, a proper prescription from your ophthalmologist or optometrist is better if you want to minimize the effects aging has on your eyes.
Another quick solution, especially if you spend a lot of time on your mobile phone, is a reading lens attachment for your phone.NearSight, the company responsible for creating the first real alternative to reading glasses, allows you to see on and off your phone.
For more information about NearSight or to schedule an appointment for an eye exam, contact Hollywood Vision Center today.