Study Suggests Vision Loss Leads to Cognitive Decline

Vision loss and cognitive functionStrong, clear vision affords you many benefits, including the ability to complete many everyday tasks with ease and comfort. Recently, a study found that preserving good vision can also help stave off cognitive decline as you get older.

The team at Island Eye Surgicenter unpacks the study’s findings in this blog post.

About the Study

The study, funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIIA), looked at data on more than 2,500 older adults collected between 1993 and 2003 by the Salisbury Eye Evaluation (SEE) study. The participants completed a 30-point questionnaire (called the Mini Mental-State Examination or MMSE) that tested their attention span, memory, language capacity and other cognitive abilities. Their visual acuity was also scored.

The participants’ data was collected at time of enrollment, at the two-year mark, the six-year mark and finally at the eight-year mark. Researchers looked for changes in visual acuity scores and changes in the questionnaire scores over time. They discovered correlations between the baseline scores, as well as between the rate of changes in the scores. As vision declined, so did cognitive function. In addition, participants with the most significant vision loss were more likely to experience the biggest decline in cognitive function.

While the findings did not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship, researchers believe that visual acuity has a stronger influence on cognitive function than cognitive function has on visual acuity. One possible explanation for this is that vision loss limits activities that keep the mind sharp. Older adults with vision loss and impairment are less likely to engage in activities and tasks that maintain their cognitive function.

Contact Us Today

Island Eye Surgicenter is committed to helping individuals of all ages enjoy clear vision and a high quality of life. Our eye doctors have years of experience diagnosing, treating and managing a full range of eye conditions and diseases. To schedule a routine eye exam or to discuss your visual needs and concerns, please contact our Long Island office today.

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