40s and 50s Eye Concerns

A regular eye exam is the best way to protect your eyesight—it is particularly important if you notice a change in your vision, if your eye is injured in any way, or if you have a family history of eye disease. In your 40s and 50s, you should have an eye exam at least every two years (or as recommended by your eye care professional); problems could develop without any signs or symptoms.

Did You Know?

Your eyes can be a window to your overall health. Many illnesses can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam; diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and cancers are examples. During your eye exam, your eye care professional has an unobstructed view of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Abnormalities spotted in the eye may signal abnormalities in other parts of the body.

Generally, changes in your vision now are just a factor of aging. Here are some things you might experience:

Loss of Peripheral Vision

If you’ve noticed you don’t have the side-to-side vision you’re used to, this may be an early sign of Glaucoma. This condition is caused by abnormally high pressure inside your eye – and it often does not show symptoms until damage to your vision has begun. Your eye care professional will examine your eyes for glaucoma at your annual eye exam. While there’s no cure for this, early detection and treatment may save your vision.

Cloudy Vision

If your vision seems dim or you’re having trouble reading, watching television, or just seeing what’s around you – even when you’re wearing your glasses or contact lenses – you may have cataracts in one or both eyes. Most of us will develop cataracts as we age because our eyes’ lenses become more and more opaque as we get older. Cataracts can be corrected by your ophthalmologist, who can replace your eye’s lens with a clear plastic intraocular lens (IOL).

Crystalens AO Lens is an artificial lens implant that can treat both a person's cataracts and presbyopia —the clouding or hardening of your lenses, and the loss of near and intermediate vision, respectively.

Distorted Vision

The effects of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in its early stages often go unnoticed. In AMD, the macula, the part of your retina that’s responsible for central vision, deteriorates and creates a blind spot in the middle of your field of vision. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50, but it progresses slowly. Your eye doctor will check for this disease during your annual eye examination.

Floating Spots and Flashes of Light

We all see spots, specks, and other things that look like dark bits of string floating in our eyes on occasion. These are actually cells and fibers in the vitreous, gel-like part of your eye. Generally, these floaters are infrequent and just a normal part of vision. If you suddenly see more floaters than normal, and they’re accompanied by bright, flashing lights, the floaters may be a warning sign of an impending retinal detachment – an actual tear between the vitreous part of the eye and the retina. If left untreated, this tear can expand and lead to a serious loss of vision. See your eye care professional immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Low Vision/Vision Loss

While regular eye examinations and early diagnosis of eye disease can save much of your vision, in some cases, you may already have incurred some vision loss before you see your doctor and begin treatment. This is commonly called low vision, a condition that can’t be corrected with eye glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. There are many products and devices such as magnifiers that can help people with low vision. In addition, some eye care professionals specialize in rehabilitation for low vision, so ask your eye doctor for recommendations.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

If you have type-1 or type-2 diabetes, it’s important to have your eyes examined every year to check for a condition called diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar and hypertension (high blood pressure) can damage the tiny blood vessels that lead to your retina. This painless condition often has no symptoms – until it’s serious. But regular visits to your eye care professional may detect it in its early stages. Diabetic retinopathy can be controlled and treated, and its progress slowed significantly if detected before you experience vision loss.

Ocular Allergies

If you suffer from red, watery, itchy eyes, ask your doctor about Doctor's Allergy Formula diagnostic test. The FDA-approved in-office Doctor’s Allergy Formula diagnostic test enables eye care professionals to test for allergies that may be the underlying cause of your eye allergies or irritations.

Sjögren’s syndrome and Eyes

The classic symptom of Sjögren’s syndrome is extreme dryness of the eyes, mouth, throat, and other areas of the body sustained over prolonged periods of time. It is a condition that affects four million people in the U.S., including men and women of all ages. The most common patients are women in their ’40s and ’50s. An eye care professional may diagnose Sjögren’s syndrome after observing dryness of the eyes and mouth, and running tests to detect the presence of the condition. Sjö diagnostic test was designed as a tool for early detection of Sjögren’s syndrome for patients with dry eye.

*The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


AREDS and AREDS2 are registered trademarks of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
1. IRI Syndicated Data, 2018
2. IQVIA December 19, 2017

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