Do your eyes get worse as you age?

Age is something that comes to us all in time, and it brings with it plenty of changes both in the mind and body. Some are easier to live with than others, and getting older will affect different people in different ways. It can, in part, depend on your lifestyle, activity levels and diet – but sadly there is no way to fully prevent the effects of ageing on the body.

Deteriorating eyesight is an unavoidable part of ageing, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no point in looking after your eyes. The better care you take of your sight, the longer it will likely last for you to enjoy it. Plus, in many cases, there are things you can do to slow the ageing process for your eyes or to combat the symptoms of deteriorating sight.[1]

At what age do your eyes start going bad?

Assuming that your worsening eyesight isn’t a result of an underlying medical condition, the most likely culprit is a phenomenon known as presbyopia. Presbyopia isn’t an illness, disease or injury – it’s just a natural part of ageing. Think of it as a weakening of your body similar to the weakening of your knee joints. No matter how healthy you are, your body will naturally wear out over time and become less efficient. In fact, the term presbyopia literally translates to ‘old man’s eyes’ from the Greek ‘presbys’ (old man) and ‘ops’ (eyes).

Most people start to notice changes in their eyesight after they turn 40, but they’re typically subtle and gradual. Changes usually start in the close vision, i.e. looking at things close up. You might notice headaches or blurred vision when you’re reading or perhaps doing a small and fiddly DIY task.[2]

You might also get dry eyes or eye strain more often as your eyes become less well equipped to handle focusing on close objects.[3] Fortunately, eye drops specially designed for ageing eyes can help to soothe these symptoms. TheraTears® Dry or Tired 50+ Eye Drops For Older Eyes contain distilled waters of chamomile and mallow to ease irritation and restore your eyes’ natural tear film. Eye drops can help you to get on with your day as normal without eye strain getting the better of you.

If you often get dry eyes at night, or notice you regularly have eye strain in the mornings, an overnight remedy may be a good option to try. TheraTears® Overnight Restore Eye Drops contain cross-linked hyaluronic acid to rejuvenate your eyes while you sleep, replenishing lost moisture to leave your eyes refreshed by morning.

Why does your sight get worse with age?

As we’ve mentioned, presbyopia is a normal, expected consequence of ageing eyes – but what exactly is it?

Presbyopia mainly affects the lens of your eye, which is used to focus light through your pupil to your retina so that your brain can interpret the images you see. The optical lens is controlled by a circular muscle called the ciliary muscle. It flexes the lens into different shapes depending on whether you’re focusing on something close up or far away. When you’re young, the lens is supple and easily malleable, meaning it is easy for you to focus on objects at a range of distances. However, as you age, the lens becomes harder and more rigid. This makes it more difficult to change the focus of your eyes, which typically manifests itself as a difficulty in seeing things that are close to you.[2]

Of course, presbyopia isn’t the only condition that can affect your eyesight. For this reason, it’s important to visit an optician regularly to monitor your sight, and mention any issues you’ve noticed, such as dry eyes. This can help them to spot any changes in your vision and may help to prevent future problems arising.[1]







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Dr Simon Cooper

Dr Simon Cooper

Working with the TheraTears marketing team, as well as with a number of other Prestige Brands, Dr Simon Cooper brings extensive knowledge and experience in a number of key areas. With a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, and before that a BA in biological sciences from the University of Oxford, he brings immense technical expertise.

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