Your sight as you get older
From the moment we are born, we’re fighting against our ever-ticking biological clocks.
Scientists believe before the age of 25 we’re pretty good at winning this fight, our bodies temporarily recovering from the effects of ageing and cell death. However, when we reach about the age of 40, ageing ramps up its army and weapons arsenal, and the real battle gets underway.
After the body has dug deep into its reserves and recruited the last of its troops, the death of cells in the body starts to outpace the production of new ones, leaving us with fewer and less functional cells. Gradually we become less able to move around, repair our bodies after injuries, and protect ourselves from infections and disease.
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Cell death is the underlying proponent of ageing, although it is far from the only factor. Complex processes in the body make it tough to identify the changes that are a result of time and those that occur due to medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This means ageing can affect everyone in many different ways.
Other factors to consider include that not everyone ages at the same rate, mainly due to genetic and environmental factors, and also that organs age at different speeds. However, no matter your state of health or genetic predisposition, one thing we can all expect to happen at one point or other, along with hearing and memory loss, is diminished eyesight.
Clouding your window to the world
By your early to mid-forties, you’re likely to start experiencing a reduction in your quality of vision. This is the onset of presbyopia, an age-related condition caused by the gradual loss of flexibility in the lens of the eye, which results in difficulty refocusing from distance to near vision.
Like myopia (short-sightedness) and hyperopia (long-sightedness), presbyopia is a refractive error. Refraction in the eye describes how light bends through the cornea and the lens inside the eye and is focused on the retina at the back. Over time the lens portion of the focusing system loses its flexibility and stiffens, leading to the inability to focus light directly on the retina.
When this happens, light entering the eye fails to bend enough and focuses at a point behind the retina — resulting in out-of-focus vision when looking at objects up close. This is in contrast to the young eye in which the lens is soft and flexible and able to reshape to focus on both distant and up close objects.
As you progress into later years, you may develop cataracts: small opaque formations in the clear lens of the eye that cloud your vision. Although something that occurs mainly in older people, cataracts are not directly related to the ageing process. Age is a commonality in their development, but they only appear under certain circumstances. Some factors that may increase your likelihood of cataracts include diabetes, a family history of cataracts and other eye conditions, and eye injuries.
The effects of ageing on the eyes are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t manageable. Some of the methods people use to find relief from presbyopia are reading glasses, artificial lens implants, bifocals, and monovision contact lenses. However, as the latest treatment to emerge for presbyopia, a Laser Eye Surgery technique known as Laser Blended Vision is safer, easier, and more effective than all other forms of vision correction.
There’s not much we can do to stop the ageing process, but thankfully we don’t have to give up our clear and crisp vision. Find out if you’re a candidate for Laser Blended Vision today and hold on to your youthful vision for many more years to come.
Have a question about your eyes as you get older? Ask us in the comments below. Or if you’d like to book a consultation with us, give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.