Your vision is essential to your everyday life, but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be perfect. Your eyes are an incredibly complex system that’s constantly adapting and changing, but it’s rare that vision naturally improves—it’s much more common to experience a gradual worsening of your eyesight. But can your eyes ever improve with age?
There are some specific situations where your eyes can improve with age, like a change in lifestyle choices or the development of an optical condition like cataracts or diabetic retinopathy. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. While you may be excited that your eyes are suddenly improving, it’s often an indication that your eyes are changing rapidly or developing an eye condition.
How Does the Eye Change as You Age?
Your eyes are constantly adapting and changing. Typically, this occurs slowly over a long period of time, and often these changes lead to your vision gradually worsening with age. The severity of these changes varies from person to person, but there are many common conditions that can develop with age. These include:
- Age-related macular degeneration: the eye losing its ability to create a sharp central image
- Presbyopia: the gradual loss of ability to focus on nearby objects
- Cataracts: a cloudy part forming in your natural lens
- Glaucoma: which damages the optic nerve and leads to long-term vision problems
Typically these conditions cause blurry or double vision and eye strain, but their more serious symptoms can drastically change. It’s important to regularly schedule comprehensive eye exams with your optometrist—especially if you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions—so they can monitor any changes to your eye health.
Most changes that occur in the eye lead to your vision gradually worsening, but in some situations, it can improve. This isn’t always a good thing, though—it’s often an indicator that your eyes are changing rapidly, which could be a sign that you’re developing a problem with your eye health.
Can Your Eyesight Get Better with Age?
It’s significantly more common for your vision to get worse with age, but there are a few specific situations where it can improve. However, while this may seem like a positive thing, it often isn’t. If your vision suddenly improves seemingly out of nowhere, this could be a symptom of a developing eye condition.
If your vision has recently improved, it helps to start by determining whether it could be related to an environmental factor. For example, if you’ve always followed an unhealthy diet but have recently switched to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, your eyes may just be receiving more nutrients than they’re used to. If you’ve recently quit smoking, your eyes may just be healing.
However, this is very rare. Your vision usually won’t improve out of nowhere, so it could be something more serious occurring.
What Could Make Your Vision Suddenly Clearer?
When it comes to your eyesight, there are a lot of factors at play—they’re an incredibly complex system that’s susceptible to diseases or other medical problems developing. Usually, in a healthy eye, light is refracted towards the retina, where the optic nerve can then send signals to the brain and create a clear, healthy image.
However, if you’re dealing with myopia, hyperopia, or another optical condition, your eyes may not be refracting light correctly. These common conditions are caused by a misshapen lens, cornea, or another part of the eye—sometimes the entire eyeball itself—that leads to light refracting improperly and not hitting the retina as needed.
So if you’re suddenly noticing your vision is getting clearer, this could be caused by something in the eye changing in some way. This makes it essential to visit the optometrist so they can determine how healthy your eyes are.
What Medical Problems Could Improve Eyesight?
There are several medical conditions that could lead to sudden vision improvement.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy and have recently changed your diet to better control your blood sugar, it could be related to your clearer vision. However, this doesn’t mean your vision is actually getting better—it could simply be that it’s no longer getting worse. If you suffer from diabetes and haven’t been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, you should visit the optometrist for a diabetic eye exam to see if this is causing your vision changes.
Cataracts are also occasionally known to cause a temporary improvement in sight. These occur when the natural clear lens of your eye begins to cloud. This eventually leads to blurry or hazy vision but is fixable with a simple surgery.
However, in some situations, the lens itself can slightly change shape. This means that some people with cataracts notice clearer vision as cataracts develop, as the lens is now refracting light in a different way. However, this isn’t permanent—the cloudiness eventually worsens, leading to deterioration of their vision.
What to Do If Your Vision Starts to Improve
If you notice any serious changes to your vision—whether good or bad—the first thing you should do is visit your optometrist. They can observe and monitor any changes and help you determine what’s causing your sudden vision changes. While your eyesight suddenly improving may seem like a good thing, it may be an indicator of a serious eye condition developing.
Your eyes are an essential part of your everyday life, and we understand that here at Los Angeles EyeCare Optometry Group. Schedule an appointment with us here today for help with all your visual needs!