The AOA recommends that adults aged 19 to 40 receive an eye exam at least every two years. Most adults between the ages of 19 and 40 enjoy healthy eyes and good vision. The most common eye and vision problems for people in this age group are due to visual stress and eye injuries. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting your eyes from stress and injury, you can avoid many eye and vision problems.
Good vision is important as you pursue a college degree, begin your career, or perhaps start and raise a family. Here are some things you can do to maintain healthy eyes and good vision:
The American Optometric Association recommends that adults aged 19 to 40 receive an eye exam at least every two years. If you are at risk for eye problems due to a family history of eye disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or past vision problems, your doctor of optometry may recommend more frequent exams. In between examinations, contact your doctor if you notice a change in your vision. Detecting and treating problems early can help maintain good vision for the rest of your life.
Eyestrain is common in today’s visually demanding world. A typical college schedule or office workday involves long hours reading, working at a desk or staring at a computer. A poorly designed study or work environment that includes improper lighting, uncomfortable seating, incorrect viewing angles and improper reading or working distances can add to the visual stress. As the day progresses, the eyes begin to fatigue, and eyestrain and discomfort can develop.
The following are key signs of eyestrain:
Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize eyestrain, particularly during computer work:
Making these simple adjustments to your study or work area can do a lot to prevent or reduce eyestrain. If you continue to experience eye-related symptoms, you may have a vision problem that requires treatment. Ask your optometrist.
The AOA recommends that adults aged 41 to 60 receive an eye exam at least every two years. Beginning in the early to mid-40s, many adults may start to have problems seeing clearly at close distances, especially when reading and working on the computer. This is among the most common problems adults develop between ages 41 to 60. This normal change in the eye’s focusing ability, called presbyopia, will continue to progress over time.
Initially, you may need to hold reading materials farther away to see them clearly. Or you may need to remove your glasses to see better up close. Print in the newspaper or on a restaurant menu may appear blurred, especially under dim lighting.
If you already wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to see clearly in the distance, these changes in your near vision can be corrected by switching to bifocal or multifocal lenses. Fortunately, people with presbyopia now have many options to improve their vision.
During these years, schedule a comprehensive eye examination with your optometrist at least every two years to check for developing eye and vision problems. Don’t rely on the limited driver’s license vision test or other insufficient vision screenings to determine if you have an eye or vision problem.
Adults over 40 who have the following health or work issues may be particularly at risk for developing eye and vision problems:
Just like your body, your eyes and vision change over time. While not everyone will experience the same symptoms, the following are common age-related vision changes:
If you have never needed eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision, then experiencing near vision problems after age 40 can be concerning and frustrating. You may feel like you’ve abruptly lost the ability to read the newspaper or see the cell phone numbers.
Actually, these changes in your focusing power have been occurring gradually since childhood. Now your eyes don’t have enough focusing power to see clearly for reading and other close vision tasks.
Losing this focusing ability for near vision, called presbyopia, occurs because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This flexibility allows the eye to change focus from objects that are far away to objects that are close. People with presbyopia have several options to regain clear near vision. They include:
As you continue to age, presbyopia becomes more advanced. You may notice that you need to change your eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions more frequently than you used to. Around age 60, these changes in near vision should stop, and prescription changes should occur less frequently.
Presbyopia can’t be prevented or cured, but most people should be able to regain clear, comfortable near vision for all of their lifestyle needs.
This is also the time in life when your risk for developing a number of eye and vision problems increases. The following symptoms could be the early warning signs of a serious eye health problem:
Regular eye examinations and early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases can help you preserve good vision throughout your life.
The AOA recommends annual eye examinations for everyone over age 60. Regular eye exams are even more important as you reach your senior years. See your doctor of optometry immediately if you notice any changes in your vision.
Vision changes occur as you get older, but these changes don’t have to affect your lifestyle. Knowing what to expect and when to seek professional care can help you safeguard your vision.
As you reach your 60s and beyond, you need to be aware of the warning signs of age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. Many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They may develop painlessly, and you may not notice the changes to your vision until the condition is quite advanced. Wise lifestyle choices, regular eye exams and early detection of disease can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health and vision as you age.
You may not realize that health problems affecting other parts of your body can affect your vision as well. People with diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure), or who are taking medications that have eye-related side effects, are at greatest risk for developing vision problems.
In the years after you turn 60, a number of eye diseases may develop that can change your vision permanently. The earlier these problems are detected and treated, the more likely you can retain good vision.
The following are some vision disorders to be aware of:
If you are 60 or older, driving a car may be increasingly difficult. Age-related vision changes and eye diseases can negatively affect your driving abilities, even before you are aware of symptoms. Some age-related vision changes that commonly affect seniors’ driving are:
These tips can help you stay safe when driving, especially at night:
Unfortunately, some people over 60 lose sight beyond the normal, age-related vision changes. Macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are among the eye health conditions that can lead to permanent vision loss in varying degrees and forms.
Visual acuity alone is not a good predictor of a person’s degree of visual difficulty. Someone with relatively good acuity (e.g., 20/40) can have difficulty functioning, while someone with worse acuity (e.g., 20/100) might not experience any significant functional problems. Other visual factors, such as poor depth perception, limited side vision, extreme sensitivity to lights and glare, and reduced color perception, can also limit a person’s ability to do everyday tasks.
Low-vision rehabilitative services can provide people with the help and resources they need to regain their independence. These services can teach people with low vision a variety of techniques that allow them to perform daily activities with their remaining vision.
Your doctor of optometry can help plan a rehabilitation program so that you can live an independent life within your condition’s limitations. A wide variety of rehabilitation options are available to help people with low vision live and work more effectively, efficiently and safely. Most people benefit from one or more low-vision treatment options. The more commonly prescribed devices are:
In addition, numerous other products can assist those with a vision impairment, such as large-type books, magazines, and newspapers; books on tape; talking wristwatches; self-threading needles; and more. Talk with your optometrist to learn more about your available options.
We believe that there is so much more to a eye exam than just an accurate glasses prescription. Why? Our eyes and visual system can produce very similar symptoms. For example, blurred vision can be caused by something as simple as an uncorrected refractive error or as serious as uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, or even a brain tumor.
Because of this, during our comprehensive eye and vision exam, we thoroughly evaluate the function and health of the eyes and total visual system to obtain ample information to diagnose the cause of signs noted by our doctors or symptoms reported by our patients. In addition, potentially blinding conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms until they are far advanced and the damage is irreparable. That’s why we dilate the majority of our patient’s eyes to allow us to look at all of the ocular structures to identify the presence of any conditions that may exist without symptoms.
We incorporate the latest technology and rely on thorough objective examination of the eyes to ensure that all eye and related systems are evaluated. At the conclusion of the comprehensive vision exam, we take time to thoroughly explain all of our findings, make recommendations, and answer any questions you may have.
Our adult eye and vision examination includes:
Other testing may include: