That’s the old adage. But while more experience may be good for your overall life, your eyes may not be so pleased passing this age milestone. Why? For most people, 40 spells the time when various vision and eye health issues become more prevalent. Fortunately, the discovery of new technologies in the prevention and treatment of eye health problems have made it possible to delay their occurrence or reduce the severity of their symptoms.
That’s the goal of the experienced team at Wilkinson — to keep you seeing clearly for the foreseeable (pardon the pun) future!
What you can expect
The following age-related changes generally occur after the age of 40:
- Presbyopia – A decline in your eye’s ability to focus resulting from a loss of elasticity in your eye’s lenses. Reading glasses, bifocal lenses, or contact lenses can overcome presbyopia. Plus, intraocular lenses for cataracts can now also correct presbyopia.
- Reduced pupil size – The muscles controlling the pupils tend to gradually lose strength as we age. When this happens, pupil size becomes smaller than normal making them less responsive to light.
- Dry eye – As we age, the production of tears that help lubricate the eyes slows. This is particularly common in women going through menopause.
Advancing age also increases your risk for the following vision problems:
- Glaucoma – A collective term for conditions involving damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased pressure within the eyes. If left untreated, glaucoma will damage vision permanently.
- Cataracts – Cloudy or hazy vision as a result of a build-up of proteins in the eye’s crystalline lens. Surgery is the only treatment, but this is the world’s most successful surgical procedure.
- Macular degeneration – The retina, which is mainly responsible for central vision (useful in driving or reading fine print), is severely affected in macular degeneration. Laser treatments have been shown to reverse macular degeneration, but there is no cure.
If you’re in your 40s, it’s even more important to have your eyes checked regularly with us at Wilkinson Eye Center. Yearly checkups allow us to spot issues such as glaucoma and macular degeneration before they really start to affect your vision. Call us at (248) 334-4931 to schedule your exam.