Senior vision care

Older adults with vision loss may have an increased risk of anxiety and depression, according to new findings from the U.S. National Health and Aging Trends Study.

In addition, those who exhibit mood disorder symptoms are also more likely to have some vision impairment.

Researchers led by Joshua R. Ehrlich, M.D., Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan, reviewed data from more than 75,000 older men and women included in the study.

They found 31%  of those with impaired vision also reported symptoms of depression. Among those without vision problems, only 13% reported those signs. Results for anxiety were similar. 

“Poor vision not only increases the risk of mood disorders, but also cognitive decline, falls, loss of independence, and even mortality,” Ehrlich said. “However, poor vision is not an inevitable part of aging, and an estimated 80 percent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.”

He said regular vision care should be a core focus of geriatric healthcare.

Full results were reported in JAMA Ophthalmology.