Changes in vision are common with age but emphasis must also be made that these are not just a nuisance for affected people. This is because vision issues can signal serious health conditions as well as increase the risks for injuries, perhaps even death.
With such a significant impact on your quality of life, you should be vigilant about maintaining your eyes’ good health. You must, for starters, have an annual or bi-annual eye health exam with a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist, such as the professionals at Sears, for early diagnosis and effective treatment of vision issues.
Here are a few important reasons why you should take your vision more seriously.
If you have reduced field of vision, then you are more likely to stumble and fall resulting in more physical injuries including fractures. The term visual function refers to the total area wherein objects can be seen with the use of peripheral vision while the eyes have their focus on a central object – and its loss can mean increases risk of falls among older adults.
Red Flag for Underlying Medical Condition
Your vision issues can either be a red flag for an undetected underlying medical condition, such as diabetes and hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure). In many cases, your vision abilities will be negatively affected by these medical issues, too.
According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes is among the leading causes of blindness in the United States. With consistently high blood glucose levels, as is the case among many diabetics, can result in difficulty seeing at night and/or blurred vision.
A comprehensive eye exam can also detect your immediate risk for a stroke. In a 2013 study, an exam where the back of the eyes are photographed can be used to determine which of the hypertensive patients have the highest risk for stroke.
Doctors have also detected other medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, multiple sclerosis, and high cholesterol, via an eye exam.
Link to Mental Health Issues
Studies have also shown that vision loss can be linked to increased risks for:
- Depression. In a 2013 study, adults with 90% vision loss are more likely to be depressed than their peers with no vision issues. Depression prevalence in people with visual loss was 11.3% while it was only 4.8% in people without visual impairment.
- Anxiety. In a 2014 study, vision loss has a significant impact on anxiety among older adults. People with vision impairment also reported poorer quality of life with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Indeed, vision loss is a serious symptom that should be taken seriously. You and your doctor can discuss your options in treatment in your case.