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6 Ways to Save Your Eyesight

Your vision changes as you age. Here's what you can do about it

En español | Maybe you're having a hard time reading this article. Or perhaps you have stopped driving at night because you just can't see as well then. Don't worry: Chances are, you're not going blind. But you might be experiencing some age-related eye issues.

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Age-related vision changes are common. — Photo by Gallery Stock

Here's a list of the most common symptoms that affect your eyesight as you get older, why they happen, what to do about them — and when to see your eye doctor immediately.

1. Fuzzier small print

Why it happens: As you age, your eye's lens becomes less flexible, which means it has a harder time changing its focal point from far to near. That makes it difficult to focus on close-up objects.

How to Fix it: You know you can get reading glasses or bifocals, but sexier options include bifocal contacts, multifocal contacts, or monovision, where one eye is fitted with a contact lens to see distance and the other eye is fitted with a lens to see close up.

"Monovision is a great option for many, but not everyone's brain accepts it," says Nancy A. Tanchel, M.D., an ophthalmologist and owner of Liberty Laser Eye Center in Tysons Corner, Virginia. You're a good candidate for bifocal, multifocal, or monovision contacts if you're willing to trade off supersharp vision at a distance for better close-up vision.

Red Flag: An abrupt decline in vision could be associated with several conditions, including macular degeneration, a disorder in which central vision is damaged; a vitreous hemorrhage, sometimes from an aneurysm in the eye, often associated with diabetes; or a retinal detachment. "Any abrupt change warrants an immediate evaluation," Tanchel says.

Next: Do you have dry or watery eyes? »

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