Reductions in stimulus quality may disrupt the reading performance of older adults more when compared with young adults because of sensory declines that begin early in middle age. However, few studies have investigated adult age differences in the effects of stimulus quality on reading, and none have examined how this affects lexical processing and eye movement control. Accordingly, we report two experiments that examine the effects of reduced stimulus quality on the eye movements of young (18–24 years), middle-aged (41–51 years), and older (65+ years) adult readers. In Experiment 1, participants read sentences that contained a high- or low-frequency critical word and that were presented normally or with contrast reduced so that words appeared faint. Experiment 2 further investigated effects of reduced stimulus quality using a gaze-contingent technique to present upcoming text normally or with contrast reduced. Typical patterns of age-related reading difficulty (e.g., slower reading, more regressions) were observed in both experiments. In addition, eye movements were disrupted more for older than younger adults when all text (Experiment 1) or just upcoming text (Experiment 2) appeared faint. Moreover, there was an interaction between stimulus quality and word frequency (Experiment 1), such that readers fixated faint low-frequency words for disproportionately longer. Crucially, this effect was similar across all age groups. Thus, although older readers suffer more from reduced stimulus quality, this additional difficulty primarily affects their visual processing of text. These findings have important implications for understanding the role of stimulus quality on reading behavior across the lifespan.