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How vision changes as we get older


It's important to know... #EyeWeek

Getting older is a part of life, one that brings with it a wealth of wisdom and experience, as well as changes to our vision.

Some vision changes may include finding it harder to focus on objects up close or distinguish colours, such as blue from black, as well as needing more time to adjust to light after leaving a dark room.

If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from wearing reading glasses or having improved lighting around your home.

This is just one of many possibilities of how vision can change as we progress through life.

The reason why our vision naturally declines over time is due to the lens inside our eye stiffening.

This process, called presbyopia, usually occurs from the age of ten but doesn’t really become noticeable until mid-to-late-forties when problems with focus or reading may occur.

As well as changes in sight, the risk of developing a serious eye condition also increases as we age and can have a significant effect on our vision.

Visually debilitating conditions include cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

However, the actual loss of vision is not a normal part of ageing.

Ultimately, our vision later in life will be determined by the lifestyle you have chosen to lead.

It’s also important to consider genetics - your parents and grandparents can usually give an indicator of how well (or not) your eyes and vision will be over time.

If they suffer from poor vision, it may be worth considering as time goes on.

While a change in vision can be expected, you can take a few simple steps today to try and protect and maintain your vision for longer.

Balanced diet

Having a balanced diet that is rich in green, leafy vegetables, oily fish and exercising frequently can keep your blood pressure low and avoid diabetes.

If you do have diabetes it is essential to maintain good control of it and supplement this with a healthy diet.

Stop smoking

Avoiding smoking can half your risk of developing macular degeneration in your later years and the earlier in life you quit, the better your chances of protecting your eyes.

Aside from the obvious health benefits if you quit smoking, maintaining your vision for longer is certainly another reason to stub it out.

Wear sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays which may contribute to conditions like macular degeneration.

Before you purchase a pair of sunglasses, read the label to make sure the glasses protect you from UV rays.

These small lifestyle changes are important prevention methods, to help preserve your sight much longer.

While these lifestyle changes are significant prevention methods, a regular sight test is essential to identify and monitor any underlying or developing eye condition, giving you a better chance of improving or maintaining your vision for longer.

To find out more about when your eyes are telling you that it’s time for a sight test, click here