How Your Eyes Change With Age

Your doctor may have told you to expect some changes in your eyesight once you turned 40 years old. This is when many people begin to report problems with their eyes, reports WebMD. The changes have actually been happening throughout your life, but at 40, you begin to notice the effects of those changes in your eyes. Here are some of the common changes in the eyes due to age and the symptoms you may experience.

Your Retina Slowly Becomes Less Sensitive to Light

The cells in the back of your eye that make up the retina need more light to create a clear image. As more of the cells lose their light sensitivity, you'll need more light to see. You'll find yourself turning the lights on in a room or using a desk lamp that you didn't need before. More light will help bring things into focus, but at some point, you may need eyeglasses to read in low-light conditions.

Your Lens Loses Its Flexibility

The fluid in the lens begins to dry out with age and the tissue covering the lens becomes less flexible. The lens can no longer change its shape enough to focus the light on the retina. Things may begin to look blurry, or it may take longer for your eyes to focus on a printed page. Eventually, you'll need an external resource, such as a magnifying glass or reading glasses, to compensate for the lens's loss of function.

Your Lens May Become Cloudy

The fluid in the lens is normally transparent, but age may cause it to become foggy. You'll notice this when colors don't seem as bright. Car headlights at night will seem brighter and have a glare. You may notice more glare off of reflective surfaces such as office building windows or a lake. Glasses or contacts with anti-glare lenses will help with this effect.

Your Eyes May Feel Dry

As you age, your tear glands produce less moisture with which to keep your eyes lubricated. The result is that your eyelids feel heavy and your eyes feel dry and tired. Eye drops can temporarily moisturize the eyes. Taking a break from watching TV, working on the computer or any other activity that requires keeping your eyes open in a bright light condition will rest your eyes so they won't feel as dry.

These situations won't necessarily result in serious eye problems. Your eyes change slowly so you will become accustomed to the changes in your vision. A regular eye exam will help track the changes. Your ophthalmologist like one from Optical View may make recommendations as to how to care for your eyes so the side effects won't impact your daily activities.