Loss of visual acuity tied to increased risk of earlier death in seniors.
by Dr. Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP
Advances in medicine are allowing people to live longer but what people truly desire is a longer quality of independent life. New research is pointing to healthy eyes as the answer.
The Health News Report “Shots” published by NPR (8/21, Shute), released a summary from a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology on the cause and effect of early death in seniors being tied to vision problems. Scientists looked at data gathered over ten years following individuals 64 to 84 years of age. They found that individuals who lost “visual acuity equivalent to one letter on an eye chart each year had a 16 percent increase in mortality risk over eight years.” Why? Because seniors suffered a loss of independence making it harder to pay bills, do housework and otherwise manage their lives. In short, “an eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life…because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently.” Reduce your risks and visit your eye doctor annually. Problems may be easily corrected with new glasses or contact lenses and can give you an increase lease on an independent life.