Now that 40 has become a reality for me, I am beginning to understand first-hand how unsettling it can be now that my body is beginning to make the same noises as my coffee maker. I am learning the importance of being able to find humor in the changes that are occurring, and I am also beginning to experience some of the challenges my patients are going through as they deal with over 40 vision.

Presbyopia is the “over 40” aging eyes vision condition that eventually affects every one of us. Just like wrinkles and gray hair, presbyopia is part of the body’s natural aging process. It begins when the lens of the eye loses flexibility and is no longer able to focus on close-up tasks such as reading books, using our smart phones, or browsing menus. Most of us solve this problem by buying an endlessly growing supply of reading glasses.

If you are over 40 and wondering if aging eyes, or presbyopia, are affecting you, here are five signs that you are likely experiencing these normal changes. Keep in mind that only a thorough eye exam such as a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis can accurately determine your eye health.

  1. Your arms become shorter. Holding phones, newspapers, or craft projects at what once felt like a normal distance is now far too close to see. Holding things farther away is much more practical.
  2. The sun begins shining too brightly. Glare on a sunny day becomes increasingly intense, and even if you didn’t jump into the sunglasses trend when Madonna made them “vogue,” you find yourself reaching for them now.
  3. There’s not enough light. Vision becomes blurry when you put on sunglasses, and reading street signs while driving at night is nearly impossible. You may have experienced one or more embarrassing incident of not being able to make out a friend’s face in a dimly lit restaurant or other public space.
  4. Blue/black purple/blue seem to have become the latest trend in colors. Differentiating colors like navy blue from brown or black; blue from green or purple; or even pale pink from pale yellow or green is more difficult. Matching clothing or playing card games, in particular, is not as simple as it once was.
  5. Stairs and bathtubs are built all wrong. Trying to judge distances, such as the height of stairs or curbs, or the depth of bathtubs, for example, requires extra thought. You may find that shadows and shadow patterns are easy to misinterpret as drop-offs, especially in dim lighting or when the contrast is not strong.

Fortunately, like wrinkles and gray hair, there is now something that can be done about aging eyes. Kamra Inlay, SMILE, and RLE are all laser vision correction options that give people with presbyopia crisp, clear vision without being chained to readers.

To find out what Brinton Vision can do for you — even if you’ve been told you are not a candidate for LASIK in St. Louis, schedule your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis online or call us at 314.319.4725. You don’t have to live with presbyopia. Come see the difference!

Dr. Jason P. Brinton is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.