A Checklist for Adults Ages 40 to 59

Most people age 40 and older have probably noticed a change in their vision and rely on some kind of vision correction.1 Changes that occur can cause a number of changes in how well you see. The following are common, age-related vision changes to look out for:

  • Need for more light – Brighter lights can help make reading and other tasks easier.1
  • Difficulty reading and doing work up close – Printed materials are not as clear and it’s harder to focus on near objects with the same ability as when younger.1
  • Glare – Additional glare from headlights or the sun windshields can make it more difficult to drive.1
  • Changes in color perception – With age, the lens of the eye may start to discolor, making it harder to distinguish between certain shades of color. This is often associated with the early development of a cataract.1
  • Reduced tear production – Dry eye is a common, yet uncomfortable condition.2 It can occur when the tear glands stop making enough of the water component of tears, causing eye irritation.3


About Presbyopia

If you’re like many in their 40s who struggle to focus on close objects or small print, you may be getting presbyopia. Presbyopia happens to everyone. It starts around age 40 – and requires some form of vision correction.1

Do you experience any of these symptoms?

  • The need to hold reading material at arm’s length
  • Difficulty seeing print in low lighting (such as reading a menu in a dimly lit restaurant)
  • Blurred vision at a normal reading distance
  • Headaches or fatigue from doing close work

Did you know?
Eye examinations aren’t only for people with poor vision, and 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean perfect vision.6

Warning Signs of Eye Health Problems

During your 40s and 50s, the risk for developing eye and vision problems also increases. Here are symptoms that can be early warning signs of a serious eye health problem:

  • Fluctuating vision – Frequent changes in how you see can be a sign of diabetes or hypertension/high blood pressure. These chronic conditions can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, causing vision loss that can sometimes be permanent.1
  • Seeing floaters and flashes – The occasional spots or floaters, in most cases, are harmless, and are a natural part of the eye’s aging process. But, if more floaters than normal suddenly appear and are accompanied by bright, flashing lights, they may be a warning sign of retinal detachment, which is a tear on the retina. This is a serious condition and should be treated immediately to prevent serious vision loss.1
  • Loss of side vision – If it seems that you are losing peripheral or side vision, it could be a sign of glaucoma. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without notice,4 so early diagnosis is critical to managing the disease.5
  • Seeing distorted images – If straight lines appear distorted or wavy, or there appears to be a blind spot or empty area within the center of your vision, you could have signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).1


  1. American Optometric Association. Adult Vision: 41 to 60 Years of Age. [Accessed June 26, 2014]
  2. National Eye Institute. Facts about Dry Eye. [Accessed June 26, 2014]
  3. MayoClinic.com. Dry Eyes. [Accessed June 26, 2014]
  4. Glaucoma Research Foundation. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. [Accessed June 26, 2014]
  5. The Glaucoma Foundation. Treating Glaucoma. [Accessed June 26, 2014]
  6. NIH Medline Plus. How to Keep Your Sight for Life. [Accessed June 26, 2014]