Many adults begin to notice difficulty seeing objects at close distances beginning in their early to mid-forties, especially when reading or working on the computer. The reason for this change is a condition known as presbyopia, the normal aging process of the eye over time. Even though everyone experiences different symptoms as their eyes begin to age, there are some common, noticeable changes that someone may begin to develop.
Need for better lighting
Once someone’s eyes begin to age, he or she may find it difficult to see objects as clearly as he or she did in years past. Reading books, paperwork, or working at the computer are all tasks that may require brighter lights in the work area or next to a reading chair.
Over time, the eye lens loses its flexibility, making it more difficult for someone to see printed materials as clearly as before. At the same time, people over the age of 40 may find it more difficult for their eyes to focus near objects in the same way they could when they were younger.
Problems with glare
Glare from headlights at night or the sun reflecting off the windshields or pavement may be more prevalent as the eyes begin to age. As the eye lens changes, light entering the eye may scatter instead of focusing precisely on the retina, which leads to additional glare.
Reduced tear production
The tear glands also begin to produce fewer tears with age, especially in women who have experienced menopause. Decreased tear production can result in dry and irritated eyes. People who experience limited tear production should consult their ophthalmologist about using eye drops, as tear production plays an essential role in keeping the eyes healthy and maintaining clear vision.
Even though vision problems are a common part of the aging process, certain symptoms may signal a more serious eye condition. If you would like to schedule an eye exam, contact Dr. Mark Hornfeld at (646) 502-4142. Dr. Mark Hornfeld is a New York City-based ophthalmologist specializing in cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, and refractive surgery.