At What Age Does Eyesight Deteriorate?

September 6, 2022 | Custom Lens Replacement (CLR)

Many people who have enjoyed near-perfect vision most of their adult lives one day find themselves purchasing reading glasses, taking pictures of small fonts to blow them up to read more clearly, and, eventually, at 43Vision, asking what happened to their eyesight!

Aging is a part of life, and changes in your vision come along with that for most adults. 43Vision is the first vision correction center specializing in patients over 40, just like you! As experts in our field, we focus solely on helping adults over 40 with their age-related vision changes. Schedule your exam today to learn more about how we can help you with common age-related vision changes.

At what age does vision begin to decline?

Many individuals may have issues with their ability to see clearly, up close, starting in their early to mid-40s; this is particularly noticeable while reading and using a computer. This is one of the most prevalent vision problems that individuals between the ages of 41 and 60 experience. The common shift in the eyes' ability to focus is called presbyopia, and it will continue to progress with time. According to the National Eye Institute, presbyopia is different than farsightedness, which is another refractive error that makes it hard to see things up close. With the celebration of enough birthdays, no one is spared from these aging changes that the eye is subject to!

You may have to hold reading items further away at first to view them well. Or you might need to take off your glasses to improve your close-up vision. The print in a newspaper or on a menu at a restaurant could be hazy, particularly in low light.

People who already wear prescription glasses or contact lenses can have traditionally managed these age-related changes by converting to bifocal eyewear or multifocal contact lenses. Fortunately, there are even more ways for people with presbyopia to improve their eyesight today.

To check for developing eye and vision issues throughout this time, arrange to see your eye doctor for a thorough eye exam at least every two years. As you age, it is essential to have regular eye exams to not only diagnose any current vision problems but also detect and prevent other eye diseases from progressing.

Why does vision change after 40?

Our eyes work similarly to a camera in that they automatically focus on the objects we need to see. This seamless process involves the contraction and relaxation of specific eye muscles that change the curvature of the lens and shift the lens forward or backward to focus at different distances. As we age, our bodies get less firm overall. The eye muscles also start to lose their flexibility and ability to accommodate and adjust as needed as we enter our early 40s, but the main problem is attributed to the hardening of the natural lens of the eye, causing an inability for the eye muscles to adjust the shape of the eye to focus light in an optimal manner on the retina. This eventually affects the ability to focus on things up close and is known as presbyopia. This is the first noticeable sign of deterioration of the lens of the eye, the next phase of aging lens dysfunction results in a cataract.

In addition to the changes that the crystalline lens undergoes, the proteins in the lens can also cause cloudiness of the lens, which results in a cataract, the typical process of aging that the eye is subject to. Eventually, the lens becomes too cloudy to see clearly, and cataract surgery becomes necessary.  

Why choose 43Vision for your deteriorating eyesight?

As the first vision correction facility dedicated to treating patients aged 43 and up, 43Vision uses the most cutting-edge technology available to combat presbyopia's effects and prevent patients from having to deal with cataracts in the future.

Our team of highly qualified medical professionals and board-certified surgeons is committed to ensuring your time with us is relaxing, pleasant, and, most importantly, life-changing.

We at 43Vision are dedicated to advancing with technology at all times. We consistently invest in the most cutting-edge, secure, and precise technologies, some of which our own Dr. Luke had a crucial role in discovering and creating.

Does everyone need glasses after 40?

Not everyone will need glasses after 40, but most people will. As presbyopia makes it challenging to concentrate on close-up things as one ages, almost everyone needs reading glasses by the time people are in their mid-forties or fifties.

This problem may be improved with reading or prescription glasses and even fixed with certain eye operations. The greatest news of all: for many individuals receiving presbyopia treatment, distance vision will even improve. Regular eye exams will help you and your eye doctor determine the best treatment options for your vision changes.

What are some common age-related vision changes?

  • Trouble seeing in dimly lit areas. As you get older, you need more light to see as clearly as you once did. Reading and other close-up jobs will be easier if there is brighter lighting in your workspace or near your reading chair.
  • Eyestrain. The sensation of eyes feeling tired or sore.
  • Reading and doing work close-up is more difficult. Because your eye's lens gets less flexible with time, things printed may become less clear as your eyes now have a more challenging time focusing on close things than they did when you were younger.
  • Having trouble with glares. You may notice more glare when driving at night from headlights or during the day from the sun reflecting off the pavement or windshields. Your eyes' lenses may change, causing light to enter the eye less precisely focused on the retina and more evenly dispersed. This intensifies the glare.
  • Color perception changes. Your eye's typically clear lens might begin to change color. This makes it more difficult to perceive and tell apart different color tones.
  • Tear production decreases. Your eye's tear glands will produce fewer tears as you become older. This is especially true for women who are going through hormonal fluctuations. Your eyes may feel dry and itchy as a consequence. For your eyes to be healthy and your vision to stay clear, you must have enough tears.
  • Headache. Headaches from eye strain, not caused by other factors.

What factors make you more at risk for vision changes?

Certain chronic conditions or diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can increase your risk of developing age-related eye changes or vision loss, smoking is another important risk factor. A family history of age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma and certain medications for health issues such as high cholesterol, thyroid, depression, anxiety, or arthritis have also been linked to an increased risk of vision changes.

How can I stop my eyesight from getting worse?

The National Institute on Aging provides the following advice for maintaining healthy eyes:

  • When you are outside, wear sunglasses that filter ultraviolet (UV) light and a hat with a broad brim.
  • Give up smoking, which increases your chance of developing eye diseases.
  • Consume healthy foods that promote eye health.
  • Exercise regularly and keep a healthy weight.
  • Lowering high blood pressure may help with reducing vision issues.
  • Controlling your diabetes is crucial as it can lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Reduce eye strain while concentrating on a computer or single item by taking a little break every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds.
  • Regular eye examinations are essential for identifying issues before they become more severe.

In summary, the best advice of any eye doctor is to "eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water, and quit smoking." Additionally, go to the eye doctor every two to three years, starting in your 50s, and once a year after that.

Is it normal for your eyesight to get worse every year?

Numerous causes may contribute to worsening vision, so it's essential to get your eyes checked often to ensure they're in good shape and healthy. You should see an optician sooner if you sense a change in your vision; otherwise, we advise scheduling an eye exam every two years. Although some may require more thorough treatment, most causes of blurred vision may be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses. You can learn more about the best eye care solutions from your eye doctor.

What is age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) develops when the macula, a region of the retina, begins to accumulate metabolic by-products, these products are typically recycled, but in some individuals the body is unable to do this and these by-products accumulate. Although AMD doesn't typically cause complete blindness, it does cause the loss of central vision, which is necessary for doing everyday tasks like reading, driving, cooking, and doing household repairs.

AMD is often hereditary. The earliest symptoms start to show up in persons in their 60s, but significant vision loss may not occur until they are 70 or later.

There is no recognized treatment for AMD. However, reduced sun exposure and a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and especially dark leafy greens may assist in preventing or controlling it. Additionally, certain supplements may aid in the management of AMD by slowing its progression.

Will my eyesight get worse if I don't wear glasses?

When you're an adult with blurry vision requiring glasses, not wearing them makes your eyes work harder, but it does not worsen your vision. When your eyes don't work as hard because you are wearing corrective lenses, this lessens eye strain and all the other adverse side effects of not wearing glasses (when you need them). The most important benefit of corrective lenses is clear vision!

Is it normal for eyesight to deteriorate quickly?

Age-related vision changes usually occur over time. You must get expert help from your eye doctor immediately if you've found that your vision has unexpectedly become worse. Your vision may suddenly deteriorate due to a significant underlying medical problem that may need urgent treatment.

Why is my eyesight getting worse after wearing glasses?

According to some, forcing your eyes to concentrate without glasses or with a lower prescription than you require may stop refractive problems from becoming worse and prevent the muscles surrounding your eyes from atrophying. The misunderstanding seems plausible even if this relationship is false.

The eye's natural lens may change form to alter how much light reaches the retina, and the zonules, or flexing ligaments, are responsible for this shift in lens shape. These ligaments grow lax as you age, while the lens becomes tougher. Because of this, it is more challenging for your eye to precisely focus light on your retina.

Though it may be tempting to think that exercising your zonules and ciliary muscles can keep your vision cleaner for longer, this is untrue. Exercise of these muscles cannot instruct your eyes to restructure the lens enough to see clearly since permanent alterations to the lens shape and density have a more substantial impact on visual acuity. Reading glasses don't make presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, worse.

Trust the experts at 43Vision

If you have noticed your vision is deteriorating, it's best to get it checked out by our expert team of eye doctors at 43Vision. We are here to help you with all of your age-related vision correction needs and can advise you on all of your treatment options. Give us a call today to schedule your eye exam.


“I wish I’d done it sooner!”

The number one thing we hear from our patients is that they wish they’d had Vision Correction sooner.

So the question for you is… why wait any longer?

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