Many people associate poor eyesight with age. Several factors can diminish your vision, such as UV ray exposure, various health conditions, and staring at your devices for hours on end. It’s essential to take proper care of your eyes throughout your life, especially as you age into your golden years. However, many might wonder if there’s anything they can do to improve their eye health and reverse the aging process. In this post, we’ll discuss this possibility and offer some strategies to practice to help your vision in the long run.

Key Takeaways

  • Generally, eyesight does not improve as you get older. As part of the natural aging process, vision usually worsens, especially after age 40.
  • Sudden vision improvements may indicate something is wrong with your eyes or health.
  • You can employ various practices to care for your eye health and preserve your vision long-term. While these strategies can’t reverse the eye aging process, they can help prolong your existing eyesight.

Can Eyesight Improve With Age?

Older adult adjusting his glasses to see close.

Generally, as part of the natural aging process, eyesight only worsens with age. Some individuals may account for an improvement in their eyesight, but this typically indicates a different underlying issue. 

Dr. Jeffrey Whitman, MD, notes that a sudden improvement in distant vision in older ages may indicate pre-cataract changes. If you are hyperopic or have trouble seeing up close, pre-cataract changes may lead to a temporary phase where either your distant or near vision improves. However, he cautions people that as you age, the process will eventually lead to worsened vision, and you’ll likely need cataract surgery.

Another patient-doctor encounter narrated that the patient saw sudden vision improvements. He had been farsighted (unable to see up close) for years, which made this case strange. The optometrist suggested he see a medical doctor on the suspicion that the patient had early diabetes. After the tests came back, the patient found that he had high sugar levels in his blood and urine. Blurry vision is a common indicator of diabetes. However, for farsighted people, high blood sugar could cause a temporary improvement in vision, which explains this unique experience and symptom.

What to Do if You Experience Sudden Vision Improvements

Sudden vision improvements usually don’t happen without reason. If you experience this, book an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible. They will perform a comprehensive examination of your eyes. If necessary, they may recommend you visit your medical doctor for further tests if they suspect you might have an underlying health condition.

Improving Your Eyesight With Advanced Technologies

Close-up of eye getting Lasik eye surgery.

While your vision typically doesn’t improve naturally, modern advanced technologies have revolutionized how we can help people see the world. Aside from glasses and contact lenses, Lasik surgery is a procedure that uses precise laser technology to reshape the cornea and correct common refractive errors. Common issues this procedure corrects include:

  • Myopia
  • Hyperopia
  • Astigmatism

This treatment offers near-perfect vision without glasses or contacts, which is a game-changer for many people who have worn these corrective lenses for a long time.

Best Eyecare Practices 

While you can’t stop your vision from deteriorating over time, you can employ specific techniques to maintain your eye health for longer. Try the following practices: 

Eat the Right Foods

There are a number of foods that help improve eyesight. To jumpstart your diet, try to incorporate plenty of garlic, eggs, leafy greens, fresh eggs, cold water fatty fish, dark chocolate, and carrots. These foods are high in lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins like beta-carotene—the dream team for improving your vision.

Eye Exercises

Blue-violet light that radiates from your phone and other devices can cause damage to your eyes and put you at risk of developing macular degeneration. So, engaging in eye exercises to improve your vision is essential.

Our eyes need regular exercise to keep them healthy, just like your heart and muscles. For a few minutes each day, trace a figure eight with your eyes and then focus on something 10-20 feet in front of you. You can also practice holding out your arm and concentrating on your thumb as you bring it close to your face to improve your focus and eye muscles.

Physical Activity

One study found that “every increase in physical activity level reduces the Advanced Glaucoma Intervention score by 3.4 points.” In other words, participants who engaged in consistent physical activity at a certain threshold had the potential to lower their risk of glaucoma or the severity of the condition. 

Diabetes Management

Those living with diabetes may also experience diabetic retinopathy, which damages the retina at the back of the eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to decreased vision or blindness.

The retina has blood vessels that can get damaged by high sugar levels in the blood. Too much sugar can also cause these vessels to swell or leak into the retina, causing blurriness and blind spots.

Managing these sugar levels, routine eye examinations, and early intervention can help prevent this damage to your eyes.

Protect Your Eyes from UV Radiation

Harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can increase the risk of damaging your eyes. Long-term exposure can modify the proteins in your lenses, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration, or other eye issues. As a result, your eyes may worsen, leading to blurry vision and more severe eyesight loss.

It’s crucial to wear quality sunglasses and shade your eyes with hats when you spend time outdoors to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays.

Having the Right Prescription

If you don’t have the right prescription for both eyes, you may end up making one more dominant than the other. This can impact depth perception and rapidly increase the loss of vision in the weaker eye. That’s why it’s important to visit your eye doctor annually for exams so they can issue the proper prescription for both eyes.

Relaxation Techniques

Our eyes are constantly bombarded with visual stimuli, which can quickly lead to eye strain. Eye strain is a significant factor in causing poor eyesight and can lead to many issues, such as blurry vision, headaches, and dry eyes, to name a few. What you need is a little eye R&R every day. Try an eye spa by adding hot water to a towel and placing it over your eyes and temples. It will soothe your eyes and also your mind.

Seeing the Eye Doctor Each Year

Many eye problems can be avoided with proper care. This is where your optometrist comes in. Eye doctors can assess, diagnose, treat, and help prevent eye health issues. Generally, at each exam, they’ll consider your current health conditions and medical history and use various instruments and technology to assess the overall state of your eyes and related structures. The goal is ongoing monitoring to catch issues early. The longer you put off visiting your eye doctor, the higher the chance of missing a critical issue. Many problems caught early through an eye exam can undergo treatment to help improve or maintain your vision and overall eye health.

Whether you’ve noticed a sudden improvement in your vision or if it’s been too long to remember the last time you had an eye exam, visit us at Laurier Optical. Our optometrists have the expertise to assess your situation and current eye health and offer actionable next steps, like visiting your primary care physician or finding the right corrective lenses to help you see the world comfortably.