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NEW YORK — Have Americans discovered the fountain of youth? At least in their minds it appears they have. A new survey finds, on average, people say they feel seven years younger than their actual age. Respondents add they don’t even begin to embrace getting older until they hit 47.

The survey of 2,000 Americans over age 40 reveals nearly four in five (77%) feel younger than they actually are. Over half the poll (55%) still see their “younger selves” when they look in the mirror. However, more than 65 percent of respondents now also see reading glasses in their reflections.

Americans want to be forever young

Getting OldClose to half of respondents (47%) refuse to admit that they’re getting old and more than a third (35%) say they get offended if someone calls them old. Moments like hearing a familiar song on the “oldies” station (43%), catching oneself squinting at small print (38%), and grunting while getting out of a seat (37%) all make people feel like their youthfulness is slipping away.

To make matters worse, seeing a celebrity they’ve never heard of (33%), having trouble seeing in a dimly lit room (26%), and not being on TikTok (24%) also contributes to people feeling like they’re too old.

Commissioned by Foster Grant and conducted by OnePoll, researchers found more than a third of older Americans hesitate to admit they’re getting older because they either don’t want to “look old” (37%) or don’t want to admit they can’t do the things they used to do regularly (36%).

Although wearing reading glasses may be the stereotypical “you’re getting old” fashion accessory, they don’t top the list of things that make someone feel older. Only 29 percent of older Americans say reading glasses automatically make a person appear older. In fact, asking someone else to read for you or squinting to see smaller print makes someone appear older, according to the majority of respondents (61%).

“Seeing better equates to looking better and feeling better,” says Denna Singleton, Global Senior VP, Marketing & Portfolio Transformation at FGX International in a statement. “Innovations in styling and lens options allow people to feel great in their eyewear, with an added bonus of seeing clearly.”

Avoiding the ‘age issue’ with the doctor

Getting OldNearly two in five respondents (39%) said they were hesitant to wear glasses at first. However, after an average of three months, they noted their glasses became the norm. Seven in 10 (71%) agree that there are benefits to going off an eye exam and wearing glasses, suggesting that glasses are more of a beneficial necessity than a marker of old age.

“Taking care of your eyes is a smart choice, no matter your age,” Singleton adds. “Many choose to wear glasses at an earlier age for things like blocking blue light and protecting eyes from UVA/UVB damage. When it comes to needing reading glasses for naturally aging eyes, people should know that reading glasses are still a youthful, stylish and practical choice.”

While visiting an eye doctor is common practice for most, 43 percent avoid doctors unless it’s an absolute emergency. On a pain tolerance scale from one to 10, aging Americans will hold off from going to a doctor until their pain hits a seven.

People will also ignore a doctor completely if wrinkles (40%), back pain (38%), or stiff joints (34%) are the topic of conversation. Over four in 10 (43%) even assume their ailments will eventually go away on their own.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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