Men's Eyes: How to Prevent Vision Problems
Many people dislike seeking medical care for any reason. But when it comes to changes in your vision, do yourself a favor and get to an eye doctor.
Even before the time comes for frequent eye exams, men should first get in the habit of protecting their eyes. "One of the biggest differences between the health of women's and men's eyes is that guys suffer far more accidents," says Eric Donnefeld, MD, assistant clinical professor of Ophthalmology at Cornell University Medical College and a cornea and refractive surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island.
"Men should wear eye protectors around power equipment and while playing sports like racquetball or squash," he says. "I've seen many eye injuries caused by guys who were just hammering nails. But most men don't think about wearing eye protection for that."
The three primary types of eye protection—safety glasses, safety goggles, and face shields—are sometimes worn in combination. Experts say that handling chemicals, including lawn chemicals, requires goggles.
For any activity that involves chipping, grinding, riveting, sanding, banging, or masonry, safety goggles should be worn. The best goggles are those where the sides touch the skin all around, as particles can still fly up under glasses that are open on the sides. A face shield is often required if there are large flying objects or lots of debris.
One of the most consistent and predicable aging phenomena usually occurs in your 40s, when you begin having difficulty focusing on close images, such as a book. You must either hold printed matter at arm's length, or if nearsighted, take off your glasses entirely to clearly see what you are reading. This phenomenon is termed presbyopia. The reason for the vision inconsistency is due to changes in the eye from normal aging. The lens of the eye becomes less pliable, and thus is unable to focus on close images. At that point, glasses, contact lenses, or surgery are required to focus at near.
Last reviewedDecember 2010by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.