Do you find yourself struggling to read a book because it’s harder to see the words? If there are times where you find yourself less comfortable reading at your normal distance or magnification, it’s a sign that your vision could be changing. This is common after age 40 and especially after age 60. However, your vision changes noticeably for people of all ages. These are a few reasons why that change happens and what you can do about it!
Vision changes can happen no matter your age or health. However, if you are over 40 and are starting to notice that you don’t see as well as you used to, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. It’s common to experience vision changes after age 40 and especially after age 60. These changes are nothing to be alarmed about, but you might want to schedule an eye appointment just to be sure.
As you age, the lens of your eyes become increasingly inflexible, making it harder to focus on close objects. This is a refractive (focusing) error of the eye called presbyopia (or farsightedness). It eventually happens to most people who reach old age, but it’s onset generally starts around age 40 for many people. You can develop farsightedness even if you have enjoyed perfect vision all your life. Age 40 is a common time to start experiencing blurry vision and especially around age 60 and later. However, simply using glasses or contact lenses can correct your vision changes if the issue is a refractive error.
What you eat, if you exercise, the presence of chronic conditions and more can all affect your overall health and the health of your eyes. Seeing spotty vision often? You may be low on electrolytes. Other vision problems that come and go? There may be a medical reason. Simply not getting enough vitamins and minerals can cause vision changes, especially if they aren’t always consistent.
We do know that some chronic conditions can lead to your vision changing overtime. Diabetes is one of those conditions that leads to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the retina. According to studies, it’s the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. The eyes become damaged due to chronically high blood sugar that is generally associated from diabetes.
This is just one example. Any autoimmune disorder can cause vision changes, especially worsening vision over time. Some infections (like pink eye) can affect your vision for a short time, whereas severe infections can lead to vision damage. If you don’t sleep enough, it can mess with your vision as well. Try to notice if you only have vision changes after a poor night of rest or after you use prescriptions or other medications. Changes that come and go may have a trigger (such as allergies) and may be health-related. There are countless causes of fluctuating vision changes, so if you have these, talk to both your eye doctor and other medical professionals.
The first 10 years of life are the years where your eyes reach full development. Out of those 10 years, the first year is when your vision makes the most leaps and bounds. Newborns don’t yet see color, distance, depth perception and many other aspects of eyesight. With each passing week after birth, infants will see farther and farther into the distance. Around 3 months, the eyes uncross and start to coordinate. Three-dimensional vision and more develops as an infant becomes more mobile.
You want to do all that you can to make sure infants develop their eyesight how they should, and you want to take notice of signs that there are vision changes or problems with developing eyesight. If you notice these signs in toddlers/small children, consider taking them to an eye doctor:
School-aged children up to 18 years will often show these same signs when refractive eye errors (focusing errors) are present in the eyes. They may also:
Vision changes that happen from infancy to adulthood are common and many are refractive errors of the eyes. These can easily be treated with the right glasses or contact lens prescriptions. If you suspect that your child, teen or even yourself has a vision problem, make sure to schedule an eye exam with an ophthalmologist. You can schedule this exam by calling Peeper’s Optical at (303) 333-2800!