What are “old eyes”?

The technical term for “old eyes” is presbyopia. Most people know it as an almost sudden struggle to read, resulting in squinting that necessitates reading glasses. Other symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue from up-close work. For most people, presbyopia strikes sometime after age 40.

What’s really happening when presbyopia occurs is that the eyes are losing their flexibility due to a change in the lens proteins, in addition to the loss of elasticity in the muscles surrounding the eyes. These age-related occurrences make focusing on close objects more difficult.

Can “old eyes” be reversed?

Until recently, corrective lenses were the only solution once “old eyes” hit. However, UC Berkley and Tel-Aviv University researchers have “found some evidence that eye exercises may be able to help presbyopes improve their vision appreciably.” Interestingly, this study showed that exercising the brain, not the eyes, improved vision. They think this happened by the brain’s improvement to interpret blurry images rather than any change in the eye itself. More research needs to be done before knowing for sure if “brain exercises” might be able to provide improvement for presbyopia.

For now, unfortunately, presbyopia is not reversible in any form.

Light Sensitivity

Consistently wearing sunglasses protects our eyes from the damage caused by UV light.

5 ways to slow down presbyopia

Also, unfortunately, presbyopia cannot be prevented entirely, either. However, experts say that it can be postponed and its severity lessened. Here’s how:

  1. Visit your optometrist regularly, and have any farsightedness corrected. Uncorrected farsightedness can cause presbyopia to set in sooner than it would otherwise.
  2. Avoid up-close work for long periods. Up-close work tires the eye muscles, and tired eye muscles make correcting presbyopia more difficult.
  3. Protect your eyes from sunlight. This means staying out of direct sunlight or wearing UV sunglasses to protect your eyes if you are in the sun.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. In addition to a well-balanced diet, there are also certain foods as well as vitamins that can help keep your eyes healthier over your lifetime.
  5. Take special consideration when working with a computer, especially with it all day. Those who work with a computer most of the day have increased problems caused by this up-close work.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article titled “Putting Your Eyes On A Diet,” where we look at what elements of a healthy diet contribute to healthier eyes over your lifetime.

Related Reading

Check out these articles about the topics discussed above to help you postpone the onset of presbyopia.

12 Eye Care Tips for National Eye Care Month

How Does Computer Use Affect Children’s Vision?

Exercising Your Eyes

A Lesson from Anderson Cooper – Your Eyes CAN Get Sunburned

5 Reasons to Wear Sunglasses in the Winter