Your 40th birthday might have brought your health into sharper focus. For many people, this seems to be the turning point for middle age, and you might have realized that you haven't been to a vision exam in a while. Although you are likely far from needing major eye services just yet, this is a time when some vision issues begin to present themselves. You are at a greater risk of this happening if you have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, that affect your eyes. Your decision to set an appointment for an exam protects your vision as you age, and you can prepare by taking note of these symptoms that you need to mention to your eye doctor.
Your Visual Clarity Seems to Fluctuate
For the most part, you should see things with the same level of clarity throughout the day. While your eyes may get tired by the evening, you should not find that your vision fluctuates at all. Fluctuations in your vision could be caused by changes in the blood flow to your eye. Your eye doctor can check to see if conditions such as high blood pressure are causing permanent changes to the vessels in your eye. If so, then they can talk to you about ways to keep this under control.
You See Frequent Floaters and Flashes
Floaters and flashes of light are something that most people experience at some point in their life. Your eyes have a special fluid in them called the vitreous humor. As you age, the fluid changes and may develop small protein clumps that you see occasionally. In most cases, this will be brief and not interfere with your overall vision. However, it can sometimes be a presentation of a retinal detachment.
Your Peripheral Vision Narrows
During your eye exam, you will be tested for glaucoma. This test measures the pressure in your eyes, and it can signify if glaucoma is causing you to lose some of your side vision. Fortunately, glaucoma is usually treatable with special eye drops that your doctor can prescribe.
You Struggle With Reading Materials
The concept of reading glasses might feel like something that is necessary for someone who is much older. However, many people begin to experience challenges with reading small print as they move past the age of 40. You can ask to find out if you need reading glasses to help you see items up close better. If you already wear glasses, then you might be ready to move to a different type such as bifocals that makes it easier to transition from seeing things up close to far away.