Individuals are not born with exactly the same visual characteristics. Hereditary or not, visual impairment occurs naturally throughout life. From the age of 40, our visual function gradually deteriorates. This physiological phenomenon is accelerated by hereditary and environmental factors such as exposure to the sun, intensive screen work or smoking.
Baby – child (0-10 years)
In the womb, sight is the last of our senses to form. At three days old, an infant is able to focus on the face of its mother and by six weeks recognize it. Vision develops because the eye is stimulated. Its development stops at the age of six years.
An examination at 6 months enables us to check that an infant is able to follow an object, that s/he reacts to light and that s/he doesn’t squint. Amblyopia (poor vision in one or both eyes) and strabismus are often linked and need to be treated urgently. It’s essential to treat before the age of 6, because by then the eye ceases to develop. Parents should be particularly vigilant, for example if a child often uses only one eye even if there is no obvious discomfort.
Hyperopia (far-sightedness) is common in children and should be corrected if it persists.
Myopia (short-sightedness), which is often inherited, appears between 5 and 10 years.
General advice for parents:
– Protect your child’s eyes from UV rays because his or her eyes are much more fragile than that of an adult
– Regularly check your child’s vision to ensure quality vision in the future.
Teenager (11-17 years)
Vision stabilizes and any anomalies have been corrected. To maintain good visual capabilities, simple good habits are important: wearing sunglasses, taking regular breaks in front of computer screens, video games or smartphones, always wearing glasses if they are prescribed. You need to be vigilant as myopia may worsen during puberty.
Adult (18-60 years)
Particular attention is needed during certain life activities or events such as doing sports or pregnancy. During the latter, it’s common for some visual disturbances to manifest during the last trimester. They are due to hormonal changes that alter the curvature of the cornea or the tear film.
Around the age of 40, a complete eye examination is needed to treat emerging presbyopia (long-sightedness) and verify that no age-related pathology begins to develop.
A few tips:
- Use correction as soon as you need it. Screen lenses are tailored to each person and correct the defect that causes fatigue
– Adjust the brightness of your screen and desk lamp to obtain a homogeneous light within the room
– Take breaks of 20 seconds every 20 minutes by looking away.
Seniors (Over 60 years)
Although the evolution of presbyopia slows down as we near 60 years, the aging of the eye is often associated with diseases that can lead to low vision or blindness. Risk increases with age and family history.
The older we get, the more the eye develops varying degrees of fatigue and is dazzled by the light. The peripheral field of vision is gradually reduced by 10% and color vision is impaired.
For people who have had cataracts removed or with certain medical conditions, there are specifically adapted equipments that, in addition to sunscreen, provide better viewing comfort for all outdoor activities.