Why Our Eyes Get Worse as We Age

Once you turn 40, it’s normal to experience problems seeing clearly at close distances. This problem is called presbyopia, and it’s a normal change in the eye’s focusing ability. So why do the eyes get worse with age? Does it happen to everyone? 

There are several reasons why the eyes change and develop problems over time. By understanding these reasons, you can take steps to protect your vision and ensure you see your  Brooklyn eye doctor or retina specialist regularly. 


Why Age-related Vision Changes Happen 


Your eyes change over time, just as your body does. You might not experience the same symptoms as your friend or spouse, but some eye changes are more common than others. Here are some of the most common age-related vision changes to expect between your 40-60s:

  • Need for more light. As you get older, you may notice that you can’t see as well in dim settings. Your eyes need more light to see clearly, so make adjustments to accommodate this. For example, use brighter lights in your work area. 


  • Difficulty reading up close. The older your eyes get, the less flexible your lenses become. This makes it harder for your eyes to focus on fine print in books and newspapers, as well as other nearby objects. A pair of reading glasses can help.


  • Trouble focusing. Even if you’ve never worn glasses before, near-vision problems happen to everyone over the age of 40. Surprisingly, these focusing changes have been happening since you were a kid. 


  • Problems with glare. Glare can be bothersome as you get older because it happens more often, such as when driving at night or on sunny days. Changes in your lenses cause the light to disperse as it enters your eye instead of being focused on the retina. To help with this, buy the proper sunglasses, as well as night driving glasses. 


  • Changes in color perception. The clear lens inside of your eye can start to discolor with older age. This makes it harder to distinguish between certain colors. 


  • Less tear production. Dry eyes are also common once you get older because the tear glands produce fewer tears. When you don’t have enough tears, your eyes can feel tired, irritated and dry. Lubricating eye drops can help manage symptoms. 


It can be concerning when you start to experience problems with your vision, particularly if you’ve never needed to wear corrective lenses before. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye specialist in Brooklyn to make sure everything checks out. Otherwise, most changes are normal and there are simple, basic changes you can make to help you see better.