Image of senior receiving eye exam

Impaired vision among the elderly may lead to cognitive decline-related functional limitations, investigators have found.

In fact, 18% of older adults years who reported vision impairment also reported such functional limitations. For those without visual impairment, the figure was 4%.

According to lead researcher Sharon Saydah, Ph.D., vision impairment can have many causes, including such as cataracts and refractive errors, along with age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Eye care and comprehensive eye exams are frontline measures that can help prevent such loss, she added. Additional measures include healthy eating, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, she added.

Full findings appear in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.