Happy New Year from the Hudson Valley Eye Surgeon Team!

As this new year begins, it is a wonderful opportunity to take a look at what effect time has on our eyes. For example, what makes a child's eye look so bright and young? Their fresh eyes are whiter and the pupil is larger than an adult’s. Over the years, the whites of the eye thicken and change to yellow-white as an effect of time and UV exposure. Your pupil gets smaller and the colored part of the eye (the iris) looks less defined around the edge, too.

If you’re entering your mid-to-late forties and you’ve had a history of good distance vision, you may find yourself complaining about magazine print getting smaller. Inexplicably, you’ll also be appalled by the lack of good music in the ‘pop’ charts. After a period of denial, you’ll (hopefully) head to the optometrist who’ll prescribe reading glasses.

This change is known as presbyopia and no, it’s not contagious. It’s a normal effect from the aging of the lens in the eye, which gradually becomes stiffer. In its most basic, to focus up close up, you need to flex a material that gets stiff with age.

In the absence of a rewind-life button, is there anything else you can you do about all this natural change? Good sunglasses which offer protection from UV rays, which are partly responsible for aging of the eye. Similar to harmful UV rays, smoking is an eye health disaster.

Quit now. New year, new you.

Additionally, the risk of getting a more serious eye disease increases the older you get, so don’t wait until you notice a problem with your vision to have an eye examination. Eye doctors can pick up health problems and eye diseases you were unaware of and it’s a lot easier to treat eye disease in the early stages.

Read more about eye conditions and don't forget to visit your eye doctor. Have a wonderful 2017!