When we’re young and healthy, we tend not to worry too much about our health in old age, or more accurately, how our lifestyle decisions now will affect our future bodies. What we think about even less is that we may be shortening our lifespans by not taking care of our health. And, that goes for eye health, too.
Having healthy eyes and being able to see well are important for maintaining an independent lifestyle and being able to continue doing regular day-to-day activities. When an older person’s vision begins to decline, it may become more difficult for them to be independent and that can have an impact on how long a life they will live.
Vision Loss and Mortality
Researchers at Purdue University performed a study called the Salisbury Eye Evaluation to determine how vision loss affects the risk of death. The study took place over 10 years from 1993 to 2003 and used information gathered from more than 2,500 people between the ages of 65 and 84. Each person was evaluated again at two years, six years, and then eight years after the start of the study.
The study showed that the mortality risk in the people whose vision loss caused them to lose the ability to be independent and perform daily activities was three percent higher each year and 31 percent higher over the period the study took place than the people who maintained their independence. The study also showed that not being able to see one letter on a vision chart resulted in a mortality risk increase of 16 percent over the eight years due to declines in independence and activity.
However, the study also determined that at each of the follow up examinations, there was up to a 10 percent reduction in the likelihood that an older person would lose their independence and the ability to perform regular activities.
Reducing the Risk
One of the researchers stated that getting an eye examination and eye glasses or contacts could be all it takes to reduce the mortality risk. What this means is that if you know an older person who is nearing losing their independence, it might be worth it to encourage them to have an eye examination. That eye examination could be the difference between regaining their independence or losing it all and dying too soon.
If your loved one has a vision problem that cannot be corrected, then it’s important to make sure they have help performing daily activities and you should encourage them to remain as active as possible. This will help them to live life as much as they can and delay their declines.
Another study performed at the Center for Vision Research at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia showed that the risk of death over a 15 year period was 40 percent lower in people who had cataract surgery to improve their vision problems than it was in people who didn’t have cataract surgery. It was suggested that the reason for this was because the emotional and physical health of the people improved after the surgery. Quality of life was reinstated for those who had the cataract surgery because they could see well again.
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Taking Care of Your Eyes
These studies go to show that making sure you get regular eye exams can be the first step in living a long life. Catching any vision problems as early as possible means that there is time for treatments to be given to either reverse the problem or at least keep it from progressing rapidly if it’s something that cannot be cured.
In addition, taking care of the rest of your health can have an impact on the health of your eyes as well. Having heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other health issues can all affect your vision, so it’s also important to be seen regularly by a physician as well so that any health issues that arise can be dealt with properly.
Eating well can also improve your vision and decrease your risk of developing various eye diseases and vision problems as well as helping to control health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Many people don’t think about the connection that exists between health issues and vision problems, but there is a very strong link and people have declines in vision every day because of a health issue that isn’t being treated properly.
You can also keep your eyes strong and improve your vision by taking eye-healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, like the ones found in our Ocu-Plus Formula. There have been many people who have improved their vision this way. And since taking eye vitamins takes just a second every day, there’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t take the time to make your eyes stronger and healthier.