Did you know that infants are not born with perfect vision? Your vision changes as you age on continually develops, whether that is development of clear vision or of vision problems. For the first 10 years of life, children develop the ability to see colors, objects, distances, and more. Refractive errors in the eyes are common during this time and adolescence. Even if you have enjoyed perfect vision your entire life, vision commonly changes after age 40 and again after age 60. This is a time when many notice that they can’t read up close without glasses or contact lenses. Many people over 60 also develop common eye conditions that lead to blindness. Learn how your vision changes from infancy to adulthood and what you can expect over the years.
Did you know that babies are not born having perfect vision? Just like everything else they must learn, infants must develop vision step by step. Vision changes very slowly at first. If you have ever seen a newborn child, you may notice that their eyes wander or are crossed. Babies take up to 2 months for their left and right eyes to begin working together. After that time, vision rapidly improves. Babies will develop seeing distances at different intervals and also develop seeing color and depth perception properly.
Childhood is the best time to catch vision problems before they become severe. If vision changes or problems go untreated, the brain will learn to accommodate those changes. This makes treatment down the road much more difficult. Children should have an eye exam around 6 months of age and age 3 before preschool starts. After starting first grade, children should continue to receive eye exams every 2 years throughout their adolescence.
There are not too many vision changes during adolescence. Infancy is a time when you must develop the ability to see objects, colors, distances and more. However, adolescence is a time when your vision generally stays somewhat constant. If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you may see some slight changes in your prescription. Those vision changes are usually not very large. However, your adolescence should be a time when you take extra care of your eye health so that your eyes can be healthy for your adult years.
One way you can do this is by eating nutritiously and getting vitamins and minerals that your eyes need to stay healthy. Wear sunglasses during both the summer and winter to protect your eyes from sun damage. Use computer glasses when using tablets, laptops, smartphones and other handheld devices. This will help decrease your risk for macular degeneration in your later years. During your youth, the lens of your eyes and the muscles that control them are flexible and soft. This allows you to focus on close objects and shift your focus from close to distant objects with ease. That lens will become less flexible over time in your more adult years.
As you reach middle age—particularly after age 40—it’s common to start experiencing difficulty with your vision. These vision changes come on over time, and you may start to notice that you have difficulty with reading and performing other tasks that require near vision. As you age, the lens of your eyes become increasingly inflexible, making it harder to focus on close objects. This is a refractive error of the eye called presbyopia (or farsightedness). It eventually happens to everyone who reaches 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. However, simply using glasses or contact lenses can correct your vision changes.
If you have started to develop presbyopia after age 40, then odds are that it will continue developing after age 60. This is a common time for more and more patients to have refractive errors, as the body is aging more. Glasses and contact lenses can still help fix your vision changes just as before. Some patients experience many vision changes after age 60. This is a time when macular degeneration problems and diseases such as glaucoma are much more common.
Both of these conditions eventually lead to blindness. If you visit your eye doctor frequently, we can spot the early signs of both of these diseases. With treatment, we can slow the progression of macular degeneration and halt the progression of glaucoma. With proper care, you don’t have to lose your eyesight as a senior citizen.
There is one easy way to know if your vision is changing and that is to notice if your eyesight is different over time. When developing refractive errors, you may notice a change all of the sudden or that change will come on gradually. If you are visiting your eye doctor frequently, then you will be able to notice small changes in your vision. Other patients wait to see the eye doctor only when vision changes happen. However, the American Optometric Association recommends that patients visit their eye doctor at least every two years for an eye exam. For patients who already have refractive errors (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) or that have eye diseases, they should see the eye doctor annually.
At this exam, we will perform vision tests to see if your vision has changed, and if so, by how much. We can use special tools and equipment to figure out your exact eye prescription if glasses or contact lenses are needed to see clearly. We are also able to use light to see inside your eye and determine if any abnormalities are on the inside structure of your eye. Even though you may notice your vision changing over time, the only way to be sure is to schedule an eye exam. Don’t let your vision become more and more blurry! Call Peepers Optical today at (303) 333-2800!