"Vision Declines with Age"

ok true or false on the following statement?

vision "declines" with age.

what do you think?

I'll tell you what *I* think:

false. that statement groups all refractive errors together. *some* refractive errors GET BETTER with aging! here's a rough refractive error scale to look at:

0 ---- prescriptionless or "plano"

most people move DOWN that scale in their teens. so...farsighted patients get LESS farsighted (closer to zero) or "better" as they "age". nearsighted people are generally getting more nearsighted or "worse" in their teens.

also though...

most people move UP that scale in their late 30's/early 40's. for nearsighted people...they're getting "BETTER" during this time! not worse. they're moving up the scale, closer to zero, less nearsighted. is that "declining with age?" no...its not. farsighted people tho...they are most certainly "getting worse" (farther away from zero, more farsighted) in their late 30's/early 40's. they're not happy during this time.

so you see...you cannot accurately use blanket statements like "vision declines with age" or "vision only gets worse with time". those statements just aren't true. its not even true for "most" people. its not like "most" people "decline" but there are a few exceptions....literally at any given point there are probably as many farsighted & nearsighted people "getting better" or closer to zero than there are patients "getting worse" or farther from zero.

there is one glaring exception & that is presbyopia or the need for reading glasses/bifocals. that starts in the early 40's and generally "gets worse" for everyone (every mammal, actually). maybe thats what people are talking about when they say "vision declines with age"...except that that's not how that statement is generally used: its often used to imply ALL refractive errors worsen over time, which....is false.


  1. Good to know. I hope my sight improves by itself as well.
    you got a lovely open smile too.

  2. Great point. Really like the way you explained. I always thought it was true as i was on a one way traffic.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts