Recently found yourself playing trombone with a book or your smartphone (moving it forward and backward to try to get the letters to focus enough so that you can read? You could be experiencing age-related vision problems, especially if you’re over 35.
Aging eyes are a part of life, and as eye problems develop, protecting your eye health becomes even more important. Stoggles is here to help make sure your eyes stay safe as you age like a fine wine. Aging beats the alternative, and with a few preventive eye care measures, you can enjoy your healthy eyesight longer.
First, let’s talk about how vision happens and what happens when vision is not happening as it should.
How Does Eyesight Work?
Your eyes are complex. In a (tiny) nutshell, this is how they work.
The cornea of your eye collects light that is reflected off of surfaces in front of you. The pupil and iris work to focus this collected light onto the lens. The lens then sends this ultra-focused light to your retina.
The retina is located in the back of the eye and is home to a limited number of specialized cells that are capable of converting this light into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain then interprets what we see in front of us as a dog, a house, or oncoming traffic.
The retina is also home to the macula, a structure responsible for highly detailed, fine vision. Unlike other cells in your body, retinal cells don’t regenerate, and you’re born with the only ones you’ll ever have.
That means when retinal cells are damaged, they won’t be replaced with fresh, new retinal cells. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and a portion of your vision could be lost. That also means that over time (aka aging), you could experience natural vision changes as the cells and structures of the eye wear out.
Aging and Your Eyes
Some of us might not like to associate “aging” and “wearing out” in the same sentence, but vision changes are common for middle-aged and older adults. The ten pairs of reading glasses we have hidden around the house are proof.
Some of the most common eye conditions that affect us as we get older even begin in our mid to late thirties. These early stages of vision impairment are incredibly common and usually corrected with a trip to the ophthalmologist and some prescription lenses.
Two forms of age-related vision loss can affect the way you see objects that are both near and far away.
- Hyperopia. This type of vision loss (also known as far-sightedness) causes you to be able to see objects in the distance clearly but makes it hard for you to see close up.
This is the most common form of central vision loss. Myopia makes it hard for you to see close up. This is why we have those cheaters (reading glasses) by our beds, in our bags (in the protective case, of course), on desks, and even in our cars.
You’ll still be able to see far away, with very little distance vision impact, but it can be virtually impossible to see material that is held within a few inches to a foot of your face.
- Myopia. This type of vision loss is less common and makes it hard for you to see objects in the distance while still retaining your ability to see objects that are close up. This is also referred to as near-sightedness.
Both of these types of loss of vision are age-related. They are usually correctable with contact lenses and/or eyeglasses, which an optometrist can help you select.
You may not go color blind, but your kids might think you have no idea how to match your clothes or even match your shoes. As you age, you begin to lose the ability to distinguish between colors, especially similar colors, like dark navy blue vs. black.
The gelatinous substance that makes up your eyeball is called the vitreous. As you get older, that jelly-like goo begins to solidify, creating specks of dark material that drift across your field of vision. These are called floaters. Although they’re annoying, they’re a completely normal part of the aging process.
If, however, you start noticing a lot more floaters than normal, along with flashes of light and/or blind spots, see your eye doctor immediately. Floaters can be warning signs you might have an issue with retinal detachment that could possibly lead to blindness if not treated immediately.
Having a hard time adjusting to changes in light? Changes in general? It’s probably because of your age. Aging makes it harder for your eyes to adjust to light changes, like when you go inside after being outdoors or leave a dark theater and step into the sun.
While these issues are common with aging, there are some eye diseases that are age-related and much more serious.
Eye Diseases and Aging
It’s one thing to experience more difficulty reading a book, but family history and lifestyle factors can also contribute to a higher risk of age-related eye diseases.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD can dramatically impact your quality of life and interfere with your central vision. Damage to the macula can make it impossible to perform simple tasks like reading a book or even driving a car. Genetics plays a role in determining your risk, as does caring for your eyes by not smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The lens of your eye can develop areas of cloudiness that impact your vision. These areas can stay the same size or get larger over time. Cataract surgery may help remove them and restore your vision.
Having dry eyes is very common for older adults and is especially prevalent in women. Caused by tear ducts that don’t produce as many tears as they used to, dry eyes can lead to corneal abrasions or to constant eye irritation.
Symptoms include feeling like there is sand or grit in your eyes and an overall feeling of dryness in the eye area. Your doctor may suggest eye drops to treat your dry eyes.
Diabetes (both type I and type II) can damage blood vessels, including those in your eyes. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when there is damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eyes that can cause blurred vision and, eventually, vision loss.
Factors like your diet and lifestyle can lead to diabetic retinopathy, so ensuring your diabetes is well managed is vital to protect good vision.
This eye disease is caused by too much pressure on the optic nerve, usually due to having too much fluid in the back of the eye. There’s typically no way to tell if you have increased eye pressure unless you have an eye exam. You may have no symptoms of glaucoma, but left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
Protecting Your Vision As You Age
Add vision protection to your list of resolutions in the coming new year. Just like eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise, taking care of your eyes will pay dividends in your health and give you the ability to see your kids, grandkids, and even great-grandkids.
To protect your vision:
- Stop smoking.
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Make sure your diabetes is well managed (if you are diabetic)
- Get plenty of exercise
- Have regular eye exams performed by your doctor
- Wear protective eyewear
Keeping eyes safe is easy with Stoggles. Our uber-comfortable, ultra-lightweight, polycarbonate eyewear protects against everything from flying objects to Facebook politics (well, at least against the blue light entering your eyes while you furiously convince your social media friends they are wrong).
Stoggles: Hybrid Eyewear for Aging Eyes
They aren’t just for aging eyes; Stoggles are for adult eyes of any age. Each pair comes loaded with:
- ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification. Shield your eyes from impact and resist shattering and breaking.
- UV protection. Protect your eyes from any source of UV light, and fend off fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes before they start (a superpower you’ll be hard-pressed to find in other safety eyewear).
- Blue light-blocking lenses. To keep you safe while you scroll (or watch TV or work under LED lighting).
- Anti-fog lenses. Fogging is a hassle, and a hindrance. Stoggles lenses are fog-free, keeping your eyes safe and preventing frustration with our unique dip-anti-fog formula.
- Prescription ready. All Stoggles can be crafted with your prescription. Just send it to us, and we’ll do the rest in-house.
Of course, you’ll get the ability to choose the color and frame style that works best for you, to keep you comfortable and protect your style. Stoggles are the perfect mix of glasses and goggles that keep your eyes safe and offer crystal-clear lenses for perfect visibility.
Sure, you could spend a fortune on anti-aging serums that may or may not work. Or, you could grab a pair of Stoggles and protect something you can’t lift up, pin back, or inject away.
Your vision is priceless, and Stoggles protects it with unmatched style and safety.
How the Eyes Work | National Eye Institute
Nearsightedness: What Is Myopia? | American Academy of Ophthalmology
Farsightedness (Hyperopia): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic