Improving vision can directly or indirectly reduce risk factors for dementia
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), there is a strong correlation between vision impairment and dementia.
The AARP reports that treating vision problems, based on research, may reduce the factors that lead to a decline in memory and thinking skills as we age. He also predicted that vision problems, if left untreated, could potentially increase the risk of dementia.
“Research on drugs to fight Alzheimer’s is making little progress,” said Jannifer Dill, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health who studies dementia and cognitive decline. Therefore, researchers including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have focused on addressing ‘modifiable risk factors’ that help prevent cognitive decline. We are focusing on potential risk factors,” he said.
According to the CDC, more than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 are visually impaired. Experts say that 70 to 80 percent of these cases can be easily corrected by wearing appropriate glasses or by cataract surgery. Willa Brenowitz, an epidemiologist at the University of California, said, “Although it is a sufficiently preventable problem, many older people do not properly correct their vision or delay cataract surgery, which can prevent dementia or slow its decline as a result ,” he advised.
It is known that hearing as well as sight are sensory factors that contribute to the risk of dementia. Hearing loss, long associated with cognitive problems, is the most modifiable risk factor for dementia, accounting for around 9% of dementia cases, according to a 2020 Lancet Commission report. The researchers found that vision also works according to the same mechanism as hearing.
It is only in recent years that researchers have discovered that vision loss may have a similar connection. In 2021, several large analyzes of observational studies in which researchers looked at individuals but did not provide treatment or affect outcomes found that visually impaired older adults were at greater risk of eventually developing cognitive problems. Data published in the Journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that people with vision problems were 66% more likely to have cognitive impairment and 109% more likely to develop dementia than those without vision problems.
Meanwhile, at the end of last year, in the Journal of Internal Medicine of the American Medical Association (JAMA Internal Medicine), an elderly person aged 65 or over who had cataract surgery was 30% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia later than the same age group that was not. “The eye is a nervous tissue that is an extension of the brain,” the researchers said. So when neurodegeneration occurs, it can affect not only the eyes, but the brain as well.”
Heather Whitson, director of the Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University, which conducts the study of aging and human development, said: “When your vision declines, everyday tasks like paying bills or reading recipes become more difficult. for your brain to work. harder. In addition, it can potentially deprive you of the energy needed for other mental and memory tasks.
Of course, it is not recommended to unconditionally associate or suspect that you have dementia just because your vision has worsened. Experts stressed, “We need to look at the risk rather than certainty,” and urged them not to delay treatment because it is not difficult to improve eyesight with modern medicine, and it can also eliminate possible dementia factors through improve the quality of life he did.