Vision changes are one of the first ways your body lets you know you're getting older.
They're usually subtle at first, often start in middle age, and can include these problems:
You Have to Hold Books and Newspapers Farther Away to Read Them
What it could be: Presbyopia, or the inability to focus up close. It’s one of the most common vision problems in middle age. As you get older, your eye lenses get less flexible. A stiff lens can't focus clearly.
What to do: If it’s harder to read than it used to be, make an appointment for an eye exam. You might need glasses or contacts.
You can get glasses with and without a prescription. You can use them for close-up viewing, like when you read a menu or book or work on a computer. If you need help with both near and far vision, bifocals can fix close-up and distant focus. Progressive lenses or trifocals can also help you see both near and far.
Contact lenses can help correct presbyopia without reading glasses. You have several choices, like bifocal contacts. Multifocal contact lenses allow you to see near, far, and everywhere in between. Some doctors suggest a contact for near vision in one eye and for distance vision in the other eye.
The FDA has approved a surgical implant called the KAMRA inlay to help improve near vision. Laser surgery may also be an option.
See your eye doctor to discuss your options.
Your Eyes Feel Dry and Irritated All the Time
What to do: It’s more than just an irritation. Your eyes need to stay wet to be healthy. Dry eyes hurt your vision if you ignore them for a long time. If your dryness is mild, get some artificial tears at the drugstore. You don’t need a prescription.
See your eye doctor if these products don’t help. There are other options, and your doctor can check if your dry eyes are a symptom of a bigger problem.