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5 Warning Signs That Your Vision May Be Declining

May 16, 2013

These warning signs may indicate age-related vision loss for many people.

While there are a number of vision problems that can occur at any age, some of the more serious and dangerous vision problems that many people across the country experience come alongside the regular aging process. For instance, presbyopia (difficulty with near vision focus) typically presents itself around age 40; cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration all will typically surface between the ages of 50 and 60; and nearly all people over the age of 70 will experience some form of cataracts or poor vision.

However, while some of these vision problems may be inevitable, especially if they run within your family, many of the symptoms can be lessened if certain warning signs appear early enough and you take proper steps to monitor your vision regularly.


Here are just a few common vision symptoms and side effects that many people experience with age that  may indicate a more serious vision problem in the long run:

Difficulty reading or seeing things in fine print

The reason why many people in their forties begin needing reading glasses or bifocals at this age is because the lens of their eyes become stuff or their muscles begin to get week. This is often known as presbyopia―a vision condition that affects many people beginning around age 40. People with this condition often find that the fine focusing that they need in order to read and do work close up begins to fail.

A frequent change in prescription

Your prescription may change a few time as your vision begins to decline with age. However, frequent changes in your prescription or rapidly worsening vision may be an indication of a more serious eye condition such as cataracts or diabetic retinopathy.

Seeing shadows or halos

Many people of all different ages will often experience floaters in their eyes―usually a small spot or floating dot that you can see frequently in your line of vision. While these floaters are normal and harmless, a sudden onset of them that obscures your vision may mean that you have a tear in your retina or retinal detachment. Having retinal detachment is very dangerous and requires that you seek treatment right away in order to avoid permanent vision loss.

Seeing everything slightly dark

When your pupils begin to dilate less with age, you may find that you can never seem to get enough light to see well. This overall feeling that everything is slightly too dark for comfort may mean that cataracts are reducing the light that enters your eye.

Double vision

There are many eye conditions―some serious, some not―that can cause double vision. For example, dry eyes, cataracts, keratoconus and corneal dystrophies. However, having double vision could also be a sign of a very serious health condition or health emergency. For instance, double vision is a symptom of stroke, brain injury, aneurysm, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. Therefore, talk to your doctor right away if you experience a sudden onset of double vision or recurring double vision.

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