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Judi's avatar

I know when you get old your eye sight dims, but is it normal to get so bad so quickly?

Asked by Judi (37642 points ) September 9th, 2009

When I turned 43 I, all of the sudden couldn’t read a phone book anymore. Since I’m the youngest of my friends I was the last one to be able to see that well without glasses.
Over the last 5 years it has rapidly gotten worse. Now even distance vision is fuzzy.
I got new glasses in January and already I can’t read small print. I feel like if this doesn’t slow down I will be totally blind by the time I’m 60.
Is this how normal age related vision loss goes?
My eye sight is way worse than my husbands and started loosing his vision before me and he’s 11 years older than me.
I have a whole new empathy for the visually impaired!

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13 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

That IS pretty fast degeneration there. I’m sure you were checked thoroughly when you got your glasses in January? In MY case, my sight is getting better the older I get. That’s what was wrong with my glasses when I went in March. I had to get weaker lenses. I’d go back & get checked again. Your eyes are something that can’t be replaced. Keep on top of it, Judi.

JLeslie's avatar

I have no idea what is typical, but I would say be sure and see an opthamologist and not just an optometrist (sp?).

Jeruba's avatar

My doctor told me (back when I was your age) that approximately 42½ is when your “accommodation” changes—that is, the speed with which you adjust your focus when going from far to near and near to far. He said it can change very suddenly at just about that age. Mine did. Same thing happened to my husband.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t want to get checked and see what correction you may need, but it probably means that nothing extraordinary is going on.

Judi's avatar

My mom has macular degeneration so they check my macula every time. I have been to both the opthomoligist and the optomitrist. They sort of laugh like, “well, what do you expect? You’re not 25 anymore.”

casheroo's avatar

@Judi It is probably just age. But, it’s worth getting checked out!

My doctor has always been amazed that my eye sight continues to get worse. They told me it would even out around I believe 20, but every year I need a stronger prescription. This makes me an unlikely candidate for laser eye surgery :( I just wish my prescription would stay the same so I quit needing to go once a year.

gailcalled's avatar

@Judi; There are also bifocals. With my RX and astigmatism, I wear bifocals and use separate glasses for the computer and the piano. That is four pair, if you throw in the Rx sunglasses.

Judi's avatar

Actually, I have trifocals. The center is for the computer, but I have been tilting my head up a bit lately, because that is already getting fuzzy too.

gailcalled's avatar

I hated trifocals and prefer hauling around several different pairs. Easier on the neck, although when I go to the library, I cannot read the titles on bottom shelf unless I lie on the floor.

mattbrowne's avatar

You should find out whether the issue is presbyopia (normal process, not an illness) or the early onset of cataract clouding.

I’m wearing varifocals since the age of 43. I now have actually 2 sets: one optimized for driving a car and everything else and one for computer use.

Dog's avatar

It is not you- The world is just using a smaller font.

CherieR's avatar

I am 45 Judith and I too have experienced overnight deterioration on my sight. Only just got my first glasses last week. I never realised the impact it would have on my emotions and I too feel empathy. I was also told by my optician this is natural from age 42. Reading this site has helped me understand what I am experiencing is normal. I too have fears will I be blind by the time I am 60 but many people have wore glasses from a much younger age and are not. I now also know the importance of having regular eye checks.

gailcalled's avatar

You will not be blind. However, it is a good idea now to have your eyes checked annually by an Optometrist for the uncommon stuff like macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts (which hit us all if we live long enough. The lens starts to cloud up a bit.)

My daughter, at 47, just got her first pair of reading glasses, which really annoy her. I feel no sympathy.

Judi's avatar

Since asking this question in 2009, I have learned that I have beginning stages of catteracts.

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