Vision is one of our important senses, one that helps us communicate with the world around us. Unfortunately, many of us have had to wear glasses from a young age because of mild eyesight loss. Glasses, themselves can be annoying to wear. They’re bulky, can easily be damaged and for those of us who wear makeup, it doesn’t help show off our winged eyeliner skills. But having poor eyesight can be worse than previously thought and it goes beyond physical appearance.
A new study has found that simply losing a bit of your eyesight could lead to depression, loneliness and bad health. Millions of adults dealing with early stage cataracts and other vision issues are being looked at by the National Health Service in England, according to researchers from the University College London.
There were 112,300 men and women observed in the study, which found that individuals with mild vision loss were 12 percent more likely to report having poor health. These individuals also had a 14 percent chance of dealing with depression, anxiety, among other mental illnesses, and were under the care of a psychiatrist.
Researchers also say that simply having a slight vision impairment can affect a person’s eating habits, social life, activity levels and can even lead to accidents happening at home. Records of adults from ages 40 to 74 were looked at by Professor Jugnoo Rahi. These adults dealt with vision problems like cataracts, glaucoma and macular generation.
Professor Rahi, whose study was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, said that even slight vision loss, which didn’t affect driving, could cause serious long term effects to an individual’s quality of life.
“It could be that you start to change the lifestyle, be more sedentary, eat differently and it could also impact social structures,” Professor Rahi said. “There is also a sense you feel less in control of your life. This will be a big surprise for the NHS. We are not doing enough and they are not getting the resources they need.”
According to Professor Rahi, incorporating basic eye tests into health MOTs could help detect the first signs of vision loss. “In the care of older people, vision should be a priority,” she further explained. “It’s a mistake to think its ok to remove the cataracts in one eye, for example, and think that someone who had good vision in two eyes is going to function just as well.”
[H/T: Daily Mail]