From your hormones to your organs, everything changes as you grow older. It is important to prioritize your health, including your eye health. Did you know the risk of certain eye conditions such as presbyopia, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration increases after a certain age? Plus, the changing times where we spend most of our time in front of our laptops don’t help either. This, combined with other lifestyle factors, contributes to the problem and triggers eye diseases.
To understand more about why eye health should be prioritized, Health Shots asked Dr Priyanka Singh, Consultant and Eye Surgeon at Neytra Eye Centre, New Delhi.
What happens to your eyes after you turn 40?
Even if you have had a perfect vision all your life, it may change as soon as you hit 40. You might find yourself tackling several vision-related problems for the first time. So, it is best to learn more about eye health after 40 and the common problems you might have to suffer from.
One of the most common problems that may occur after the age of 40 is presbyopia. After 40 years, our near point of vision recedes and our ability to see near objects slowly weakens. This condition usually occurs due to the ageing of the lens, present in your eyes, which leads to a decrease in the ability to accommodate and focus point becomes farther. This gradually becomes worse, and ultimately you will need near glasses to focus on near objects like reading books, working on laptops, and using phones. However, this condition can be halted or reversed as it is nothing but a sign of ageing. To reduce the risk of developing complications like eye strain and headaches, you should also make sure that you wear correct power of glasses, says Dr Singh.
2. Dry eyes
Dry eyes is another very common problem that causes symptoms like persistent dryness or grittiness in your eyes. You may also experience redness, itching, or a burning sensation. Vision may become temporarily blurred, and sensitivity to light might increase. Additionally, some people may notice increased eye fatigue, discomfort when wearing contact lenses, or excessive tearing as a result of the eyes compensating for the dryness. Such incidences are also increasing due to pollution and screen time. If you experience these symptoms, it’s recommended to consult an eye care professional for evaluation and appropriate treatment.
3. Systematic health issues
Systemic refers to a condition that affects the entire body as opposed to just one organ. For instance, the entire body is impacted by systemic conditions like high blood pressure or systemic illnesses like influenza (the flu). After you turn 40, you become more vulnerable to certain health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid levels. These systematic diseases, in turn, increase the risk of eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eyes.
4. Retinal ageing
As you age, the chances of getting age-related macular degeneration, retinal thinning, and posterior vitreous detachment increase. The symptoms you may experience include seeing distorted images, loss of visual field sensitivity, reduction in contrast sensitivity, and an increase in dark adaptation threshold, adds the expert.
While ageing is inevitable, you should take care of yourself and not just your skin and body. Once you turn 40, you should start taking care of your eyes because your vision may deteriorate. Chances of developing retinal ageing, cataract, glaucoma, dry eyes and more related conditions. You must go for regular eye checkups to avoid developing diseases. You should also get an eye examination every 6-8 months depending on your eye health. Early prevention is key to avoiding any eye disorders that may lead to long-term health conditions.