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How Aging Affects Your Eyes

Aging is inevitable. Often times, with age comes wisdom…and a whole host of other interesting, but not necessarily fun things. Below are a few possible facts of life as we age:

  1. Trouble reading
    • When we are under the age of 40, the natural lenses found in our eyes are flexible and allow us to focus for near tasks, like reading our text messages. However, after age 40, we start becoming presbyopic, and we will slowly lose this flexibility in our lenses. As a result, we will find we cannot read as easily, and may start needing reading glasses.
  2. Poorer night vision
    • Studies suggest the rod cells in our retina (which are phororeceptors cells responsible for night vision) weaken as we age. This might explain why you may have found night driving comfortable when you were younger, but as you aged, driving under low light conditions became more difficult.
  3. Seeing spots in your vision (floaters)
    • Our eyes contain vitreous humour (jelly-like substance) that changes as we age. They can form clumps (called floaters), causing you to see a few spots that move around in your vision. Typically they are benign, but if you suddenly see many new spots, it is best to see an eye care professional right away.
  4. Cataracts
    • As we age, our natural lens, which used to be crystal clear, can become cloudy. This cloudy lens is called a cataract, and to clear up our vision, we would require cataract surgery.
  5. Droopy eyelids (dermatochalasis)
    • Our skin often loses elasticity due to age. This can cause the skin of our upper and lower eyelids to loosen and droop, and create the appearance of bags around our eyes. To correct this issue, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) would likely be required.

Hazanchuk, Vered. “21 Ways Aging Changes Your Eyes.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 9 Aug. 2022, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/20-ways-aging-changes-your-eyes. Accessed 24 Aug. 2022.

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