Health & Wellness
Vision Changes and Conditions  for Adults Over 40

Vision Changes and Conditions for Adults Over 40

It’s important to be aware of vision problems as you age that may require treatment or medicine. Here are some common conditions for over-40 eyes:


Description/Symptoms: A condition which causes difficulty focusing on close objects, presbyopia is a normal aging change that progresses over time. Symptoms include blurring of small print, especially in dim lighting.

Treatment: Options to correct presbyopia include bifocal or multifocal lenses as well as corrective laser or other refractive surgical procedures.

Dry-eye syndrome

Description/Symptoms: With dry eye syndrome, the eyes produce too few tears or tears of such poor quality that they don’t stay on the eye. Women are more prone to dry eye syndrome due to hormonal changes.

Treatment: Dry-eye syndrome can be managed with over-the-counter lubricating drops or prescription eye drops to increase tear production. Another treatment is lacrimal occlusion where plugs are placed, temporarily or permanently, to close the tear ducts, preventing tears from draining away too quickly.


Description/Symptoms: Caused when a build-up of pressure in the eye results in damage to the nerve fibers, optic nerve and blood vessels, glaucoma typically develops without symptoms, gradually and painlessly.

Treatment: While there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and treatment can slow or prevent further vision loss. Treatments include medications and surgery.

Macular degeneration

Description/Symptoms: Macular degeneration is a deterioration of certain cells in the macula, the portion of the retina responsible for clear, sharp, central vision. Symptoms include a painless, gradual loss of the ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision and a dark “spot” or area appearing in the center of the vision.

Treatment: There’s no cure for macular degeneration at this time, but certain treatments can slow or minimize vision loss such as vitamin supplements, drug therapy and laser surgery.


Daily intakes of these vitamins and nutrients have been linked to healthy eyes:
Lutein (10 mg): In dark-green leafy vegetables, corn, eggs or supplements
DHA/EPA (500 mg): An essential fatty acid in flax, fleshy fish like tuna or salmon or fish oil supplements
Vitamin C (500 mg)
: In citrus and fortified juices, supplements or multivitamins
Vitamin E (400 IU): In nuts, salad and vegetable oils, peanut butter, fortified cereals, sweet potatoes, supplements or multivitamins
Copper (2 mg): In mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, beans, lentils or multivitamin/ mineral supplements
Zinc (40-80 mg): In red meat, poultry, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, milk or multivitamin/mineral supplements

More About Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration (MD) affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It is treatable, but not curable.
There are two forms of MD—wet and dry:
Wet MD can be treated with laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and injections into the eye.
Once dry MD reaches the advanced stage, no form of treatment can prevent vision loss. However, treatment can delay, and possibly prevent it, from progressing to the advanced stage, in which vision loss occurs.

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