Why Reading Fine Print Gets Harder as We Age

Vision issues increase as we age, and for many of us, we encounter these issues when we try to read material with small print. Reading fine print is not as easy as it used to be, because the lenses in our eyes change as time progresses. When you are young the lens in your eyes are able to flex and change shape, but when we get older the lens becomes stiffer and is difficult to adjust to reading fine print.

A group of psychologists from the University of Leicester in Great Britain studied the relation of eye movement of people who read material in varied font sizes and sharpness levels. They determined that people 18 to 30 years old find it easier to read text with fine visual details. Whereas, adults 65 and older find it easier to read blurry text and rely on contextual clues, such as shape of letters and words. Although older adults vision becomes blurred, the participants were still able to read material well. However, many older people with 20/20 vision abstain from reading fine print materials and search for other visual cues to help them read clearly.

 When Will My Vision Encounter Problems?

Most people do not begin experiencing reduced vision until the age of  40, but symptoms may vary and may occur beforehand. People with good vision throughout their lifetime who do not use glasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision can experience age-related presbyopia well after 40. Presbyopia, reduced vision or blurred vision of reading or working on objects up close, occurs naturally in nearly every adult at some point in their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization more than a billion people were affected by presbyopia as of 2005.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

Most people who experience presbyopia need to hold reading materials at arm’s length distance in order to focus properly, because the lens in one or both eyes is incapable of adjusting to objects up close. Performing work that is in the nearsighted vision for extended time periods may develop headaches, eye strain and feel fatigued.

Presbyopia is an age-related condition that develops from gradual thickening and lack of flexibility of the natural lens of the eye. The lower the amount of elasticity is the more difficulty placed on the individual to focus up close.

How Can I Help Take Control of My Vision?

There really is no way to avoid presbyopia from occurring as a person ages. To keep vision performing at its best people must have routine eye exams at least every two years by the time they are 40. Exploring vision correction options, such as glasses, contact lenses and laser vision correction are the best solutions to maintain vision. Healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle choices such as refraining from smoking are the best natural defenses against age-related vision loss.

Laser vision correction can be performed for those who experience signs of difficulty focusing on objects up close, or reading fine print. The procedure may not eliminate a patient’s need for glasses or contacts, but they will minimize the need for their use. Laser vision correction makes it simpler for men and women to read and complete normal activities on a daily basis. No longer do they have to worry about taking the wrong medication or have someone else order from a menu that they cannot read. Clear and healthy vision is possible with laser vision correction in Beverly Hills.