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What Causes Reading Problems As We Age?

I heard recently that 40 is the new 20! With so much exposure to what is current via TV, the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to keep up with what’s trending and in style. One thing that is definitely never in style is squinting to read or see things up close! As we age, most people will find that their near vision gets worse! So, why is it when people hit the magic age of 40 that they start to have problems with reading? Read this week’s blog article to find out what causes reading problems as we age!

What Causes Reading Problems As We Age?

A change in vision, near vision, specifically is a telltale sign that you’re getting older. Many people may find that once they enter their 40s, that they have a hard time focusing on things up close. But what causes reading problems as we get older? There are a few different factors which contribute to this vision condition.

The medical term for losing the ability to focus up close is called presbyopia.

The Ageing Eye – How It Causes Reading Problems As We Age

Hardening Of The Crystalline Lens

Within the eyes, behind the pupil is a tiny lens called the crystalline lens. When young, the crystalline lens is very flexible. This flexibility allows the lens to change shape, which causes light to focus on the retina differently when looking at different distances. This process is called accommodation. The ability to accommodate allows for us to read and see objects up close.

Problems with reading as we get older happen as a result of how the crystalline lens ages. As we get older the lens starts to thicken, harden, and become less flexible. The proteins within the lens also age and change. This causes the lens to harden and lose elasticity. As the lens loses elasticity and flexibility it becomes harder for it to change shape and allow us to see up close. This problem is progressive and gradually gets worse as we get older.

Change In Colour And Opacity Of The Crystalline Lens

Along with the hardening and loss of elasticity, over time the crystalline lens also starts to yellow and become less clear. This also causes reading problems as we get older. In advanced stages, the change in opacity and colour of the crystalline lens is called a cataract.

Cataracts occur as the eyes age. But the rate at which they progress is also directly linked to cumulative UV exposure. This is another reason why a person should wear sunglasses when outside!

Watch This Short Video About How Presbyopia Causes Reading Problems As We Age!

If you feel like presbyopia is starting to be a problem with you, call our office at (403)255-2826 or conveniently book an appointment online with one of our optometrists. Our office in Glenmore Landing, SW Calgary will have you seeing clearly again at all distances!

Article was written by Trina Vanaalst, Licensed Optician & Contact Lens Practitioner


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