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How age affects our vision

From early childhood to young adults

Vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism are vision defects that emerge during development. Accordingly, people who are myopic, hyperopic or astigmatic start wearing glasses and/or contact lenses in early childhood, high school or college.


These vision problems usually stabilize when development is complete at around age 21. It is rare for myopia or hyperopia to continue to progress past age 20. Therefore, it is recommended to wait at this age to proceed with the surgery.

After 40

Presbyopia is an age-related vision problem. Over the course of our lives, our lenses gradually lose their natural elasticity, the feature enabling the switch from distance vision to near vision. This elasticity is called accommodation. The loss of accommodation (presbyopia) is physiological and affects everyone over age 40. It continues until our 50’s, when virtually all lens elasticity disappears.

The signs of presbyopia never lie. If you wear glasses for distance vision, be attentive to signs that may indicate the onset of presbyopia:

  • You hold reading material at arm’s length;
  • You suffer from visual strain or experience blurriness during extended activities requiring near vision;
  • If you are myopic, you tend to remove your glasses to see better at close range.

After 55

Most cataracts are associated with age and generally appear after age 50. It is estimated that half of people between the ages of 65 and 75 have cataracts. This estimate increases to 70% for those over age 75.

If we live long enough, we will all develop cataracts!

To date, no medications, vitamin supplements or exercises have demonstrated effectiveness in preventing or treating cataracts. Only surgery can definitively treat cataracts.

At the IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic, your optometrist will have a discussion with you in order to guide you in choosing the most appropriate lens for you.

Visit our pages on intraocular lenses and laser cataract surgery to learn more about these options offered by the IRIS Ophthalmology Clinic.

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