Aging Eyes: Here’s What To Know About Maintaining Your Vision (and How You Can Revitalize It)

If you find that your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, you’re not alone. As we age, so do our eyes – and it’s normal to experience some gradual changes in vision over time.

Eye health actually plays a big role in our quality of life. Having good vision allows you to maintain independence in your daily activities, communicate efficiently with your loved ones, and see the beauty in the everyday world around you.

Dr. Adam Muzychuk*, an ophthalmologist from Calgary, stresses the importance of maintaining optimal eye health for sustaining an active and independent lifestyle. “Your vision significantly influences your interactions with the world and is crucial for healthy aging. As we age, various eye conditions may arise, which left untreated can significantly impact one’s quality of life.”

Why eye care matters

Many Canadian seniors list travel and family as reasons for wanting to prioritize their vision. When it comes to the biggest benefits achieved from various eye surgeries, seniors (96%) list  clearly seeing the faces of loved ones and feeling confident to travel (91%) as most important, according to Alcon’s 2021 Cataract Awareness Survey.

“Eye health should be a health priority in every stage of life,” says Dr. Muzychuk. “Regular eye examinations will ensure any eye conditions are detected and managed optimally, reducing the chance of developing more advanced eye conditions that could cause vision loss or blindness.”

Clearly, it’s important to stay on top of eye health, and there are several things we can do to help keep our sight sharp as we enter new phases of life. The first is knowing what to look out for.

Common age-related eye conditions

Two of the most common eye conditions that people develop as they age are cataracts and presbyopia.

A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens that occurs as you get older. In fact, over 600,000 cataract surgeries are performed every year in Canada alone. Common symptoms include clouded, blurry, or dull vision. You may also experience sensitivity to light or difficulty seeing at night. So, if you find yourself reaching for that extra light to help you read in the evenings, squinting excessively when driving, having significant glare and halos or intolerance to lights from oncoming traffic at night, it might be time to schedule an eye exam.

“Cataracts are one of the most common aging eye conditions, affecting more than 3.5 million Canadians annually,” says Muzychuk. “As patients develop cataracts, changes to glasses or contact lens prescriptions can become more frequent. When further updates are no longer possible to improve vision to the level a patient’s lifestyle and hobbies demand, surgery is the only way to remove cataracts and get back to seeing clearly. Patients can rest assured that cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed annually worldwide, with an excellent safety profile that allows patients to get back to their daily routines in just a few weeks’ time.”

Presbyopia is also a naturally occurring eye condition, which affects your ability to see near objects clearly. This happens when the lens in your eye gets harder and less flexible, and it stops focusing light correctly on the retina. It makes nearby objects appear blurry and hard to focus on.

Presbyopia differs from farsightedness (another refractive error that makes it hard to see things up close due to the shape of the eye), and can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.

“The symptoms that come with presbyopia can significantly impact daily life, such as blurred vision, particularly when viewing near objects, such as books, smartphones, or even computer screens” says Dr.Muzychuk. “It can also manifest eyestrain or even headaches with prolonged near-viewing tasks. Presbyopia begins to develop for most people in their early to mid-40s and continues to develop into their mid-60s. If you begin to experience vision changes that interfere with your daily routine, it’s time to visit the eye doctor to explore your treatment options.”

Taking charge of your vision

We don’t choose the changes that happen to our vision as we age, it’s just part of life. But we do have choices when it comes to correcting these changes and getting back to seeing and living well.

If you notice symptoms of cataracts or presbyopia, speak with your eye doctor as soon as possible about what kind of treatment is right for you.

“It’s never too late to make your eye health a priority,” says Muzychuk. “The intraocular lenses that are now available to treat cataracts and other eye conditions, like presbyopia, are incredibly advanced and offer brilliant vision restoration.”

Presbyopia-correcting lenses like Clareon PanOptix and the Clareon Vivity are artificial intraocular lenses that are implanted during surgery to replace the natural lens and help optimize vision at all distances.

The lenses reduce the need for glasses after surgery, maximizing how you can immerse yourself in a full range of daily activities without your vision holding you back .

Ready to see things differently? Learn more about presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses at or speak to your eye doctor about which lens may be right for you.


*Dr. Muzychuk is a consultant for Alcon.