pres·by·o·pi·a def: farsightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, typically occurring in middle age.
I was walking through a familiar forest the other day, looking down at the ground beneath my feet as I tried to avoid the salamanders scurrying around after the recent storm, when I noticed that I couldn’t focus so easily. Indeed, I have reached that age where my vision is changing. I made a mental note to make an appointment with my friend, The Ophthalmologist.
But, I started to think about that, and specifically to ask the question, why does our vision change? Resisting the temptation to answer that medically, I went beyond the conventional medical paradigm to examine that question from a different perspective, with a different lens, pun intended.
So, why does our vision change as we age? Is it simply a matter of degeneration, requiring us to be more dependent on others, or the assistance of technology, in this case glasses? Or, could it provide a necessary advantage and not be a sign of impending fragility and death as many fear?
My answer came from the next observation I made in that forest. While the spots on the back of the salamander appeared blurry, I did notice his movement better than I remember ever doing before. The fact is, my near vision was impaired but my ability to see something moving was improving.
My thought is this: as we age, nature has less use for us to see the near stuff… leave that for the kids and young adults. But, someone needs to be able to take their focus away from the minutia and see beyond, see the big picture. That’s where middle aged and older adults fit in. It makes a whole lot of sense to me now. I’m cancelling my appointment!