Over 40’s

Autumn eyes

If you have reached the age of 60 and have 6/6 vision for distance and near, you are somewhat of a rarity.

For those people who have been fortunate to have been blessed with  good eyesight and health all their lives, it  comes as a shock to find that they can't avoid the aging process. One of the first signs is often presbyopia – when eyes that can see clearly in the distance can no longer focus on near tasks.

Urban myths have decreed that one should put off the wearing of spectacles as long as possible as resorting to them they will only make the eyes worse. Unfortunately this is not true. The physiological process that results in the problems that 'autumn eyes' experience, arms that are too short and print that is too small, started on the day you were born. It will not be stopped because you refuse to pop on a pair of glasses.

A young child with healthy eyes can focus on print less than 10 cms from  their nose, by the 20's this distance has increased to some 15 cms and it just keeps on increasing. Refraining from wearing glasses when they are needed will only give rise to headaches, tired eyes, a reduced pleasure in reading, an increased risk of wrinkles and making mistakes.

Presbyopia is annoying for eyes with access to good eye care but for too many people the inability to see detail at arms length has no solution, spectacles simply aren't an option.

Of course Autumn eyes don't just struggle to see the small print, they are increasingly at risk of many other changes.The most common conditions that optometrists screen for in this age group are cataract, AMD and glaucoma.  Not everyone will get any or all these conditions, but it is important that your eyes are examined.

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