After the age of 40, 80% of people start facing vision problems. As our body ages, our eyes begin to age after 40 and changes in vision start affecting our daily routine, like difficulty to focus on nearby objects, called presbyopia. It can be corrected easily with the use of Bifocal/ Progressive glasses or spectacles prescribed by your Eye Specialist.
A few conditions like Cataracts, Glaucoma, Diabetic/ Hypertensive Retinopathy, Age Related Macular Degeneration ( ARMD ) etc. can be corrected by simple procedures, if they are diagnosed in early stages. In Cataracts, vision can be re
stored by removing the cataractous lens and implanting an artificial lens with a simple surgery. But the others can cause considerable loss of vision and the lost vision may not be restored.
Maintaining good eye health and vision is all about consistency.
A few vision problems after 40.
1. Presbyopia - Reading newspapers/ small print becomes difficult
Fine print on newspapers and books, or text on a cell phone gets blurry
It can be easily corrected with Bifocal/Progressive spectacles.
2. Blurred Vision - Difficulty with distance vision.
Common Causes i. Spectacle numbers ii. Cataracts
Cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye and can be easily treated in the early stages by a simple surgery.
With advanced surgical techniques, the visual outcomes drastically improve.
A telltale sign of cataract - A person wearing spectacles for near, suddenly realizes that the near vision is good even without glasses. This means that the cataract has started and because the natural lens swells up it improves the near vision but distance vision definitely gets blurred out.
3. Decrease/ Loss of Peripheral or Side Vision: A Car passing from the side cannot be seen.
This is a common symptom of Glaucoma.
Glaucoma increases eye pressures causing a pressure effect on the Optic Nerve (The nerve that carries vision from the eyes to the brain).
It is called 'THE SILENT THIEF OF SIGHT'
In early stages, there are no symptoms.
It is crucial that it is treated in its early stages with eye drops.
In advanced stages, surgery is required,
4. Floaters - Spots floating around the screen with a plain background.
Floaters is a natural process of aging.
Floaters may bother a person but do not cause serious harm to your vision.
But if the floaters increase, it is a clear symptom of some retinal problem like diabetic/hypertensive retinopathy, retinal degeneration/detachment.
5. Distorted Images - a straight line appears wavy
When clear and distinct image or lines seem wavy, these are the signs of damage to your macula
Macula is a spot on your retina where your vision is concentrated and responsible for central sharp vision
This condition of distortion of images with age is called Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)
DRY EYE SYNDROME
One major concern for vision problems after 40 is Dry Eyes. Dry Eye Syndrome is caused due to the lack of lubrication or moisture in the eye.
It is caused when tear glands cannot produce sufficient quality or quantity of tears to lubricate your eyes.
Results in itchy and irritating sensation in the eyes.
Common symptoms - Dryness, Stinging or burning sensation, mucus discharge from the eyes, strain on the eyes etc.
The best course of treatment is determined by your eye surgeon with a tear film analysis to know the exact reason for dry eyes
Some TIPS to Maintain Good Vision after 40.
It is recommended that you consult your eye specialist at least once a year, not just for spectacle numbers but to monitor eye pressures and retina as well,
This helps to keep a check on all eye conditions
2. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important for overall health of your eyes. Food rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, food rich in omega 3- fatty acids like fish and green leafy vegetables are rich nutrients are good for overall health of your eyes.
Excessive alcohol consumption & smoking, a diet high in fats hampers blood flow to the eyes.
3. Maintain Normal Blood Sugar/Blood Pressure
Increased levels of blood sugar/blood pressure over time can cause damage to your retina and vision starts to decrease.
4. Regular Exercise
Following a regular exercise routine improves blood circulation and thus improves blood flow to the eyes
5. Controlling Computer and Phone screen time
Keep a distance of 20 inches from any screen
Do not stare continuously at a computer or phone screen
Follow the rule of 20 - Every 20 minutes, look into a distance of 20 ft away for 20 seconds.