It is almost as if the moment the clock strikes midnight on your 40th birthday, that a switch goes off in your brain and passes a signal to your eyes giving them permission to begin to deteriorate. One afternoon you are reading a book on the couch and the next morning those very same words seem blurry and your ability to focus on what you are reading becomes more difficult. While frustrating and bothersome, this scenario is one that is common and expected for pretty much everyone with the passing of time. Even those lucky enough to have had vision surgery to correct their eyesight often experience the same symptoms after a few years.
Normal Aging of the Eyes
These first symptoms of blurry vision are called presbyopia and are a natural part of the aging process for the eyes as the lens inside your eyes begins to harden. For this reason, it is not considered a disease, but rather a normal part of getting older. Temporary remedies for presbyopia include simple magnifying glasses that can be bought at the store, bifocals, the use of one contact, or laser surgery in one eye. Similarly, cataracts are so common that this disease is also considered to be a normal part of the aging process. Estimates show that most seniors experience some formation of cataracts by the age of 70, but advances in cataract surgery are shown to be almost 100% completely safe and effective in restoring full eyesight for cataracts patients.
Major Diseases that Signify Unhealthy Eyes
The three big diseases to watch out for concerning the heath of your eyes are Macular degeneration, Glaucoma, and Diabetic retinopathy. All three typically get worse with age, and for this reason regular, yearly eye check ups after the age of 40 should be a part of any routine physical. All three can led to permanent blindness but all three are also treatable and in some cases curable.
Keeping your Eyes Healthy
Have your eyes tested regularly, eat a steady diet and keep a healthy weight while maintaining a good exercise program. Not just for your eyes, but for your overall health which effects the health of your eyes. Also, keep your doctor informed of any changes in your vision and take recommended medications and supplements as directed. Aging may be inevitable, but disease and unhealthy eyes do not have to play a part in slowing you down.