As we grow older there are several things that start to change in our bodies and it’s no secret that one of the major changes typically happens with our vision. Most people, however, don’t know exactly what to expect. Vision is undoubtedly one of the most important of our five senses, so we’re laying out the facts to help everyone feel a little more at ease with their ever-changing eyes.
As a baby, our eyes change rapidly. Within a few months of birth a baby can start focusing on objects up close. By six months babies should have sharper visual acuity with more color vision and better hand-eye coordination. By the time children get to preschool age, a new set of potential concerns arise when it comes to vision. This is the time to really keep an eye on whether or not a child needs vision correction. Taking care of any vision issues early can help a child’s learning development and confidence. Another concern for children is making sure their eyes are physically protected during sports and other activities.
The teenage years are a prime time for the development of nearsightedness and when many kids start needing prescription eye wear. The time from when a person is a teenager to a young adult, however, is usually not a time of great change in one’s vision. The most important things during these years are to keep healthy by getting exercise, not smoking and eating healthy.
By the time a person’s 40th birthday comes along, they’ve probably noticed a decline in their vision. Most commonly this is due to presbyopia, the hardening of the lens in the eye, which makes it more difficult to focus on things up close. Changes in vision at this time in people’s lives are often caused by changes in the structure of the eye brought on by normal aging. Some of the more common complaints among people over forty are problems with glare, changes in color perception, reduced tear production and the need for more light to see well. This also may be around the time that many individuals begin to take more medications for other health related issues, which can often cause ocular side effects.
As we grow older there are a few more eye changes and concerns to be on the lookout for. There are several age related eye diseases that are prevalent at this age including macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Cataracts are technically considered an age related eye disease, but they are so common that they can also be considered a normal aging change. It’s estimated that half of all 65 year old Americans have some sort of cataract formation in their eyes.
As you can see, our eyes are fascinating organs that change many times throughout our lives, as a normal effect of aging. There are a few things along the way to help keep your eyes healthy, which are to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and always use sun protection. It’s important to remember that the developments in vision as you age, outlined above are general instances. It is always recommended to get an annual comprehensive eye exam and to schedule an appointment if you are concerned with a change in your vision or if you have family-related or pre existing health issues.