Most people have healthy eyes and good vision well into their 30s before they begin to experience vision problems other than visual stress or diminished vision due to eye injuries.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in protecting your eyes and vision. A few things to keep in mind are to avoid short-wavelength visible light emitted by digital devices and to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses or a hat. In addition, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and have regular eye examinations.
Wear eye protection at work, at home, and while at play. Most injuries result from flying objects, chemicals, grease, and oil splashing into the eyes. According to Prevent Blindness America, 60 percent of eye injuries occur at home and are preventable if the person wears eye protection.
Eyestrain has become a bigger problem as computers and cellphones become integral to work and home life. Signs of eyestrain include sore or tired eyes, itching, burning, light sensitivity, dry or watery eyes, headaches, and difficulty focusing.
An adequately designed workspace with proper lighting and an ergonomic setup can help eliminate eye fatigue which can turn into eyestrain. To mitigate the potential for eyestrain, adjust your computer monitor, so you are looking downward; avoid glare by wearing anti-reflective lenses; use proper lighting; maintain good posture; blink often or use artificial tear drops; and follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds allowing your eyes to readjust.
As we age, our eyesight deteriorates, especially as we enter our 40s. You may be unable to read fine print or signs far away. You will likely develop presbyopia, predicating the need for reading glasses. Presbyopia will worsen as you enter your 50s and 60s. If your vision appears cloudy, you will need corrective surgery.
According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, it is vital to have a baseline comprehensive eye exam at age 40, even for people with no symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease. People who are diabetic or pre-diabetic need to have annual eye exams and work with their doctors to control their weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
By age 65, one in three Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease.