Changes in Your Eyes Begin at 40
You’ve heard the adage, “Life begins at 40.” But for your eyes, 40 is the time when various conditions and eye health issues begin to show themselves. Fortunately, advances in technology are allowing us to prevent, or at least lessen the severity, of these conditions.
Since we care for the eyes of our patients at all stages of their lives at Millennium Park, here are some changes and conditions that may come into play with your vision after your dreaded 40th birthday.
The eyes they are a-changin’
The iconic Bob Dylan song title could have been about your eyes as you get older.
The following age-related changes generally occur after 40:
● Presbyopia – As we age, our eyes because more rigid. That loss of elasticity makes it more difficult to focus on objects at close range. Reading glasses, bifocal lenses, or contact lenses correct the problem that affects almost all people to some degree.
● Reduced pupil size – The muscles controlling the pupils gradually lose strength as we age. As this happens, pupil size becomes smaller. This makes the pupils less responsive to light.
● Dry eye – Aging slows the production of tears that help lubricate the eyes slows, particularly in menopausal women.
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 lead to vision loss.
● Cataracts – Cloudy or hazy vision as a result of a build-up of proteins in the eye’s crystalline lens. Surgery is the standard treatment for cataracts, replacing the cloudy natural lenses with artificial implanted lenses.
● 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 are proving to be very effective in addressing macular degeneration.
If you’re in your 40s, be sure to have your eyes checked regularly at Millennium Park Eye Center. Call us at (312) 996-2020 to make an appointment.