During our lifetime many facets of our health change over the years, which range from decreased physical strength, loss in hearing and changes with our vision. Most of these changes are normal and are no cause for alarm, although it’s important that we keep a close eye on any drastic or sudden changes that occur and visit the doctor if needed. Some of the most important changes we come to find are those regarding our vision. Because we rely on our eyes for most everything we do, it’s important to recognize those changes and be aware of how that can affect the lens prescriptions we need to see clearly.
A few of the most common changes in vision that can affect us are1 –
- Loss of central or peripheral vision
- Inability to see at intermediate distances
- Loss of depth perception
These changes with our eyesight can present themselves in a various manner of ways although the more common route in which these manifest themselves are through the natural process of aging and through our lifestyle.
The natural lens within our eye is quite flexible in our more formative years although becomes stiff and rigid as we age. Lens flexibility allows us to shift focus between near and far objects with ease. Once we hit our stride in life and reach our 40’s, it’s common for the lens to become more rigid and lose the flexibility it once had, making it difficult to see objects up close – this is called Presbyopia. This minor change in vision can cause individuals to require reading glasses for looking at their phones, computers or reading books.
Aging is not the only factor that may have an impact on vision – pregnancy can also play a role in needing to get your prescription reevaluated. During pregnancy, women retain more fluids than usual which in turn can “change the thickness and shape”2 of one’s cornea. Not to worry though! One’s eyesight should return back to normal after pregnancy. It’s always in good practice to discuss these changes with your doctor as they are familiar with your health history.
We live in a digital age where most all of the inputs we respond to on a day-to-day basis come through electronic devices. Whether it’s a computer, cell phone, flat-screen television or iPad – we are constantly looking at flat screens of transmitted light. This is not without consequence as shown through a study conducted by The Vision Council regarding digital eyestrain. In this study, 22.1% of Americans reported experiencing blurred vision which is a symptom of digital eyestrain.3 Blurred vision can be associated tired eyes, although it can also mean that one’s prescription has changed. It’s always a good rule of thumb to take frequent breaks when using digital devices and positioning the devices’ screen at arm’s length in order to help reduce the effects of digital eyestrain.
Vision and prescription changes go hand-in-hand and may be a natural byproduct of aging. Treatment varies on the type of changes occurring and cause of the change. Being preemptive and getting an annual eye exam is never a bad idea as this can assist in detecting any vision changes early on. Stay ahead of the curve and schedule your eye exam today!