Common Eye Problems That You May Experience As You Enter Middle Age

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For most middle-aged people, noticeable changes in eyesight after 40 are a fact of life. As you age, you may begin to notice symptoms of deterioration in your vision, even if you have never had eye problems before reaching middle age. The causes of vision changes vary depending on your overall health, development of diseases, injuries, and other factors. As soon as you notice any changes in your vision, such as those described below, make an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.

Blurry Vision

While it is natural to experience blurry vision when debris such as sand or water from rain gets into your eyes, prolonged blurriness or double vision should be a reason for concern.

It does not matter if the lack of sharpness in your vision is present in one or both eyes. The blurriness may only come in spurts, such as when you are reading a book or viewing text and images on a computer screen. You may start to get frustrated because you are unable to see fine details of images or read small print.

Blurry vision may simply be the result of very dry and itchy eyes. However, your optometrist can examine your eyes and determine if the fuzzy vision is due to more serious conditions including astigmatism, age-related macular degeneration, myopia, light sensitivity, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal damage, or other issues seemingly unrelated to your eyes.

If you have a family history of diabetes, you should never skip your annual eye exams as the condition can cause you to experience eye issues like blurry vision. Your diminished vision could also be the result of medications you are taking for other health issues.

Onset of Presbyopia

A tell-tale sign that your vision is changing in middle age is when you begin to keep books and other reading materials farther away from your face so you can focus on words. Your kids and loved ones may start to make fun of you as you stretch your arms out as far as you can to hold a book or newspaper far away from your face.

This development of what seems like farsightedness later in life is called presbyopia. Sometimes it also results in headaches as you struggle to read materials at a normal reading distance.

In general, presbyopia is not a serious condition but you should not ignore it. It is easy to correct the condition with a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. In serious cases, your optometrist may suggest that you see a specialist to explore surgical procedures such as having an implant placed under your cornea to improve your vision.

Gray Shadows, Floaters, and Flashing Lights

One of the most annoying types of eye conditions that develop later in life is floaters or gray spots in your vision. At first you might think there is a stray hair or other foreign object stuck in your eyelashes or smudges on your glasses. However, when you cannot get rid of what seems to be flashing spots or gray areas in your vision, go see your optometrist.

Floaters and gray spots could be the result of a detached retina. This condition, posterior vitreous detachment (or PVD) is a natural result of aging. It occurs when the gel-like tissue in the middle of your eye begins to shrink and starts to separate from your retina. PVD is most common among people over 50.

Eye injuries can also cause detached retinas. If you are a fan of professional contact sports, you have probably heard of athletes who experience detached retinas during physical play, especially hockey and basketball players.

Your optometrist will be able to determine if you are suffering from PVD via a dilated eye exam. If your retina is completely detached, you will need surgery. For more information, contact a clinic like Olympia Eye Clinic, Inc., P.S.