Ageing Eyes: Common Vision & Eyesight Problems

Over 40: Common Ageing Eyesight Problems

Ageing Eyes: Common Vision & Eyesight Problems

As you get into your 40s, the flexibility of the lens inside your ageing eyes reduces and your eyesight begins to change.

This natural ageing process of presbyopia means that your eyes are less able to focus on things close to you, and so you may have to push things further away. This is one of the most common vision problems associated with ageing eyes. Your ageing eyes will need more light to read, and you may even find yourself getting headaches when reading or using a computer screen. This is all perfectly normal and is caused by the lens in the eye not being able to flex as it once did, resulting in the near vision becoming blurred.

This issue with your ageing eyes is easily solved by reading glasses, or specialised bifocal or multifocal spectacles (progressives) which can either be worn part-time or full-time.


Ready readers or off-the-shelf reading glasses are a low-cost alternative that canprovide a backup for short term or emergency use. However it’s important to know that they are not made to the same standard as prescription glasses and don’t properly correct the vision of most.

Majority of people need a different prescription in each eye and usually a correction for astigmatism. So, with a ready reader they end up using one eye or the other.

Also, the centration of the lens is set for an average distance apart and usually will not match that of the individual as most people have eyes set at different distances. This can cause unwanted prismatic effect from not looking through the exact centre of the lens.

So in summary, although ready readers reading glasses help ‘magnify’, they have the potential to cause eyestrain, headaches, double vision, watery eyes and tiredness; and therefore should not be used for regular use unless approved by an eye-care professional. We usually recommend you have a prescription pair for your ‘main’ set of reading glasses.

What Other Common Vision Problems Come with Ageing?

Your eye goes through a variety of changes during the normal ageing process. The lens becomes more opaque, and so you may need more light to see clearly, especially if there are cataracts developing. The pupils of the eyes become smaller making it harder to see especially at night. Floaters increase with age causing ‘blobs’ to swim through the field of vision. Often people find their eyes feel dryer and uncomfortable leading to reflex tearing. Diseases of the eyes are also more common over the age of 40, e.g. Glaucoma, Diabetes, and Macular Degeneration(AMD).

Most of the common vision problems that come with ageing conditions can be helped by using the correct glasses; having regular eye exams; and by being aware of any changes and eyesight. So, having frequent eye exams you can help us, help you look after your eyes.


Book your eye exam today and let the experts look after your eyes.

Can Lasik Eye Surgery Correct Ageing Eyes?

LASIK may be a good fit for people with refractive errors, but it also has some limitations. The procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea allowing light to be focused onto the retina thereby giving 20/20 sight.

However, presbyopia which is the reduced ability to focus up close due to ageing eyes cannot be fixed with LASIK. You can discuss the benefits and limitations of LASIK or refractive surgery with an eye doctor and, decide if it is the right option for you.

Does Ageing Cause Dry Eyes?

One of the most common eye complaints brought on with age is dry eyes. It is a chronic condition common in adults over 40, whereby a person either lacks the quality and/or quantity of tears required to lubricate and nourish the eye properly. Tears also promote clear vision.

Often with age, people will find their eyes feel dryer and uncomfortable either on waking, whilst concentrating on the screen, or the last thing at night. There are many treatment options for dry eyes available, so consult with our optometrists for advice.