Eye health

The aging process: how your eyes change over time

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Aging is an inevitable part of life, and as we grow older, our bodies undergo a multitude of changes. Among these changes, the eyes are no exception. Understanding how your eyes change with age is essential for maintaining good eye health and ensuring you continue to see the world clearly. In this blog, we'll explore the typical age-related changes that occur in your eyes.

Presbyopia: the onset of reading glasses

One of the most common age-related eye changes is presbyopia, which typically becomes noticeable in your early 40s. This condition makes it more challenging to focus on close-up objects, like books or screens. The lenses inside your eyes become less flexible, making it necessary for many people to start using reading glasses or multifocal lenses.

Reduced pupil size

As you age, your pupils tend to become smaller and less responsive to changes in light. This reduction in pupil size can result in decreased sensitivity to low-light conditions, such as night driving. It's essential to ensure proper lighting and consider using anti-reflective coatings on your eyeglasses for night vision.

Diminished tear production

Another common age-related change is a reduction in tear production. This can lead to dry eyes, causing discomfort, itching, and blurry vision. Artificial tears or prescribed medications can help manage this condition.

Increased risk of cataracts

Cataracts, a clouding of the eye's natural lens, often develop as people age. This condition can lead to blurry or distorted vision. Cataract surgery, one of the most common surgical procedures in the world, can effectively restore clear vision.

Greater risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults. It affects the macula, the central part of the retina, leading to a loss of central vision. Regular eye exams can help diagnose and manage AMD.

Glaucoma risk

The risk of developing glaucoma, a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, increases with age. Early detection and treatment are essential to preserve vision, as glaucoma often progresses slowly and without symptoms until it's in advanced stages.

Changes in color perception

Age-related changes in the lens of the eye can impact color perception. Colors may appear less vibrant or slightly faded. Regular eye exams can help detect these changes and monitor overall eye health.


As you age, your eyes naturally undergo changes that can affect your vision and eye health. While some of these changes are unavoidable, taking proactive steps to maintain good eye care, such as regular eye exams, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and wearing proper corrective lenses, can help you enjoy clear vision well into your senior years. Remember, with the right care, you can continue to appreciate the beauty of the world around you as you age gracefully.

Peter Walker
Partner Optometrist
Eye health

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