Just Turned 40? It’s Time to Visit an Ophthalmologist

If you recently blew out the candles on your 40th birthday cake, well, happy birthday! This milestone doesn’t have the best reputation because people officially move into “middle aged” status. Yet those who have lived to tell about it assure newcomers that this is one of the best decades!

As you celebrate turning 40, make sure that visiting an ophthalmologist in Brooklyn is on your list of things to do. Many vision changes begin to occur in your 40s, most notably, presbyopia.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is the normal, age-related vision loss that makes it difficult to see up close. You might notice that when reading, looking at a menu or working at a computer, your vision is blurry. Even those who have never had an eye problem before can’t escape presbyopia.

What Causes Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is different than astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. These conditions have to do with the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic or environmental factors. Presbyopia, on the other hand, is believed to be caused by the gradual thickening and decreased flexibility of the lens inside the eye.

What are the Signs?

According to the National Eye Institute, anyone over the age of 35 is at risk for developing presbyopia. Everyone will eventually become presbyopic, and you’ll notice the changes gradually taking place.

Here are some signs to look for:

● Difficulty reading fine print
● Having to hold reading material at arm’s length
● Trouble seeing objects close to you
● Headaches and eye strain

Why Else is it Important to See an Eye Doctor?

Presbyopia is easy to treat and requires getting fitted with progressive lenses or reading glasses. But there are other reasons why it’s important to see the ophthalmologist after your 40th birthday, even if your eyes seem to be working correctly. In fact, your eye doctor will probably recommend seeing you more often.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of eye disease, the ophthalmologist will evaluate your eyes and look for the start or worsening of certain conditions. You will probably have your eyes dilated to check the retina and optic nerve, which is where many eye diseases first show up. The doctor will also look for early indicators of glaucoma.

If you have a 40th birthday in the near future, or you recently celebrated one, make sure that you schedule time to see your eye doctor regularly. Your eyes are an important part of your overall health and wellness. In the event of more serious issues, a retina specialist can discuss other causes and treatments.