By your mid-forties, you may start to notice that reading fine print on your phone or computer appears a little more blurry than before or has become more difficult to keep in focus for prolonged hours. To compensate for this, you may find yourself holding your book or phone farther from yourself to see the words more clearly or straining your eyes to keep the words in focus. This is a visual problem that happens to everyone due to normal changes within your eyes over time.
In order to read comfortably, the lens inside of your eyes must be able to flex and change its shape to focus on images held at a close distance. With increasing age, the lens becomes slightly thicker as new layers are added each year and also stiffer which causes a change in the shape of the lens and decreased flexibility. Both of these structural changes are normal for all people and contribute to difficulty with reading as you grow older.
What to do when reading gets harder
Reading glasses prescribed by your eye care provider or even contact lenses that have a reading component will help alleviate the eye strain associated with blurry reading vision and provide the clarity that you need to read comfortably again. It’s important to note these visual symptoms begin in the mid-forties and continue to progress before stabilizing by your mid-sixties. Therefore, your prescription for reading glasses or contact lenses should be updated every one to two years to provide clear and comfortable reading vision as your eyes continue to change.
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