Vision After 40
March 22, 2018
By R. Luke Rebenitsch, M.D.
“My arms aren’t long enough.”
“There’s not enough light.”
“That print is so small!”
These are things nearly all of us tell ourselves as we progress into our 40s and beyond.
This change in our vision is completely normal and affects each and every one of us. There is even a medical term for it – the dysfunctional lens syndrome. In a nutshell, this syndrome is the result of the natural lens in our eyes losing its flexibility. When we are young, the lens can accommodate, or flex, allowing us to see from far-off street signs to inches away from our face. This is, of course, assuming our eyes are naturally in focus or are corrected by glasses, contacts, or a vision correction procedure. As we progress through our lives, however, that flexibility is lost due to added layers and chemical reactions within our natural lens.
Reading glasses and bifocals.
These are dreaded devices that we, in our 20s and 30s, never thought we would need. They allow us to function and continue our lives, but they are a nuisance and don’t seem natural. As of 2015, the average life expectancy in the United States is 78.74 years. By that statistic, nearly half of our lives will be spent over the age of 40 where we will need to use these prosthetic devices just to function.
Is there a solution?
For most people there are ways to improve the functionality of our eyes without the need for prosthetic devices. A description of the full breadth of these solutions is beyond the scope of this blog. However, I can generalize with the following statements: Lasers can improve an eye’s focus. Tiny implants can improve lost near vision. Even your natural lens that no longer fully functions can be permanently replaced. These treatments all can even treat natural nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Modern medicine is truly a marvelous thing in comparison to what we had even 10 years ago.