A new study suggests that untreated vision loss may boost the risk for dementia. However, researchers don’t know why.
So, maybe it’s time to get your eyes checked.
Any factor that could influence dementia risk needs to be explored. There is no cure for the condition that affects 5.8 million Americans and is estimated to double by 2060.
If detecting and treating vision problems can reduce the risk, it is certainly worth having your vision examined by an eye doctor.
The researchers found that the likelihood of cognitive impairment was 137 percent higher in seniors with trouble seeing than those without vision issues (cognitive impairment is a general term for problems with thinking and memory).
Therefore, diagnosing and treating eye conditions may be beneficial for both quality of life and potentially slowing down or preventing memory loss.
The findings were published in Aging and Mental Health and involved a review of 16 research papers, including more than 76,000 participants. It found that those who had a vision condition had a 41 percent higher risk of impairment and 44 percent increased risk for full-blown dementia.
They found that risk was also increased regardless of whether the participants reported a doctor found the vision issues or them.
Vision issues can arise in a number of ways. However, with monitoring, they can be corrected. The key is to book an eye exam to identify and treat any issues.
Based on this study’s results, it is also unclear if treating a vision condition will impact dementia risk. For example, it is still yet to be determined if eyeglasses, laser surgery, or treating vision-related issues like AMD or glaucoma will preserve mental capacity.
In the meantime, get your eyes checked, stay active, and do your best to build your diet around various colourful fruits and vegetables.