Partially Sighted Older Adults Are More Likely to Suffer from Dementia

Old woman holding trendy glasses, concept of vision problems, blurred backgroundAccording to new research published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, partially sighted older adults are more likely to suffer from dementia. These patients started by recording mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia.

Dementia is an escalating problem for older people. It is a broad term for diseases and conditions that are characterized by declining memory, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive skills. These may all affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.


The research was performed by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), who examined population data from China, India, Russia, South Africa, Ghana, and Mexico from the WHO’s Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE). More than 32,000 records were used as part of the research.

The study found that people with loss in both near and far vision were 1.7 times more likely to suffer from mild cognitive impairment. Patients with only near vision impairment were 1.3 times more likely to suffer from mild cognitive impairment than someone with no vision impairment. Surprisingly, people who had only far vision impairment did not appear to have an increased risk of cognitive impairment.

Overall, the occurrence of mild cognitive impairment was 15.3%, while approximately 44% of the people surveyed had vision impairment.

Dr. Lee Smith, who was involved in the study, said, “Our research shows for the first time that vision impairment increases the chances of having mild cognitive impairment. Although not everyone with mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop it, there is a likelihood of progression to dementia, which is one of the major causes of disability and dependency in the older population.”

Prevention and Treatment Options

Researchers now stress that the focus needs to be on whether intervention to improve quality of vision can reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Possible causation needs to be determined.

Previous research has shown that dementia can also cause vision loss. More information is needed to conclude what truly comes first, vision loss or cognitive impairment. By understanding the relationship between partially sighed and cognitive impairment, better treatments and preventions can be offered. It is essential for those getting older to get their eyes checked regularly to help reduce the risk of a relationship of cognitive impairment.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.