Between the ages of 40 and 65, our eyes can go through significant changes.
The most common change most people notice is the need to hold reading materials farther away from their eyes. Called presbyopia, nearly everyone experiences this increasing farsightedness that usually begins in their late-30s to mid-40s. The eye’s lens (located behind the pupil) becomes less flexible with age, making it harder to read and perform other near tasks. If presbyopia is left uncorrected, you may find your eyes tire easily and you may get headaches.
Most people need reading glasses or another vision correction strategy to deal with presbyopia. Also, people who have cataracts removed (usually a bit later in life) may choose to have intraocular lenses (IOLs) that correct for presbyopia.
Catch Early Signs of Eye Disease Now
By age 65, one in three Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease. However, early signs of these eye diseases can begin in midlife, though they may not be noticeable right away. The earlier these diseases are found and treatment begins, the better the chance of preserving good vision.
It’s very important to get a baseline comprehensive eye exam at age 40, even for people who have no symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease. A comprehensive exam will look for signs of:
People who are diabetic or pre-diabetic need to have annual eye exams and work with their doctors to control their weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Your ophthalmologist will recommend follow-up exams based on your family history and the results of the baseline exam.