Does blurry vision offer a clear picture of the future?
Possibly, according to recent research.
A new study suggests a strong link between impaired vision and mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, in older adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, MCI is the stage between expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia.
Not all people with MCI go on to develop dementia, but it is a risk factor.
The study, which was published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, found that people with vision trouble are 1.7 times more likely to deal with MCI. The conclusion came after examining a large World Health Organization dataset featuring more than 32,000 people from an array of countries.
People featured in the study came from China, India, Ghana, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa.
It’s unclear if correcting vision impairment was able to reduce the risk of MCI. More work will be needed to determine whether corrective lenses or surgeries, for example, can improve the chance for a healthier brain.
Although the study does not prove that impaired vision can lead to MCI or worse, it may help bring vision health into focus. It’s recommended to visit an eye doctor at least once per year to monitor eye health and vision and catch any potential issues early.
There are also certain actions you can take to both protect your vision and reduce the risk for MCI.
UV-protective glasses help protect your eyes from damaging sun rays. These lenses can be used on both sunglasses and eyeglasses for protection. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids may also promote better eye health.
There is data to suggest that moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, can reduce the risk of MCI. Diet and lifestyle have been identified as preventative measures for cognitive decline.
If you’ve noticed your vision slipping or that you may require a new prescription, consider a trip to the eye doctor. Also, try not to skimp on sunglasses: get a pair that can protect your eyes.