Annual eye exams become even more important after the age of 40 to detect the following vision problems associated with aging.
Presbyopia is the slow, progressive loss of the eye’s power to focus on close objects that occurs in almost all people after the age of 40. You may need reading glasses, bifocal glasses, or bifocal contact lenses to help you focus better.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes that occurs when tiny blood vessels in the retina are damaged by the disease. Your vision may become blurred and night vision impaired. All people with diabetes should have an eye exam with dilated pupils at least once a year. Laser surgery can help shrink abnormal vessels in the early stages of the disease.
Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy and less transparent. You may experience light sensitivity, blurry vision, and distorted colors. Studies suggest that antioxidants in the diet may lower risk for developing cataracts. Smoking also contributes to the development of cataracts.
Glaucoma is a hereditary disease in which increased fluid pressure inside the eyeball damages the optic nerve causing partial or total vision loss. It can be diagnosed with a tonometer test to measure pressure in the eye, by dilating the pupil to look at the optic nerve, and by visual field testing. Glaucoma often can be treated with eye drops to reduce elevated pressure or sometimes by laser or conventional surgery.