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Eye Care at Age 40

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woman-150x150Eye care is important for everyone regardless of their age, but vision problems can seriously start to affect a person after they turn forty. At this age, a person is more likely to begin experiencing problems such as hazy vision, difficulty seeing at night and overall difficulties in vision. These problems are caused by a number of issues.

A person’s iris is the colored part of their eyeball. The iris contains muscles that can open or close a person’s pupil to allow the right amount of light in. This muscle begins responding more slowly as a person ages. Because of this, a person will have difficulty adjusting to changes in light. This is especially true when they suddenly go from bright areas to dark or vice-versa.

Another structure of the eye that changes with age is the lens behind the iris. There are muscles around this lens that squeeze and bend the structure to allow a certain amount of light to pass to the optic nerve. As a person ages, this structure becomes more rigid. This in turn makes it more difficult for the muscles around the lens to change its shape and control the amount of light that gets through. This is why many people over forty cannot see small print or handheld objects as clearly as they used to.

Cataracts are another huge problem that adults face as they age. Cataracts will cause a person’s vision to progress from hazy to pure blindness. It is important for a person over the age of forty to get periodic eye examinations for this and other reasons. If cataracts are caught early, the condition can be handled before vision deteriorates severely.

There are also other steps a person should take besides seeing an optometrist to keep their eyes healthy. Eating light or dark yellow vegetables (ie. winter squash) puts Vitamin A into a person’s eyes, which greatly increases eye health. Dark green, leafy vegetables contain nutrients that help protect against macular degeneration. A person can also greatly benefit from glasses that help block UV rays from the sun. These simple steps can do wonders in keeping a person’s eyes as healthy as possible.