Can Vision Loss be Linked to Depression?

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health set out to see whether there was a relationship between vision loss and depression for people in all age groups.

People With Vision Loss Had Depression Symptoms

Using data gathered between 2005 and 2008, Xinzhi Zhang, MD, PhD and colleagues found that the depression rate for adults with visual function loss was 11.3 percent, compared to a 4.8 percent rate among those without vision loss. People who self-reported having certain kinds of vision problems were about twice as likely to report depression symptoms on a standard questionnaire.

This was true for all ages, from twenty-somethings to seniors.  The data held up statistically after researchers corrected it for other health and lifestyle factors known to contribute to depression, including chronic illness, income and marital status.

Vision Function Versus Vision Quality

Study participants who had vision problems in general did not have the same higher rate of depression as those whose decline in eye health had a negative impact on their ability to perform everyday tasks, including reading, locating items on a crowded shelf and especially driving. A full 25 percent of those who reported difficulty with daytime driving also had depression symptoms. The more tasks people reported having problems with due to vision loss, the more likely they were to be depressed, and the more severe their symptoms were.

Take Care of Your Eyes

Vision loss that can make everyday tasks difficult can be caused by eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as by injuries. It is important to have regular eye exams, to catch and address eye diseases early.

But good eyecare also includes good everyday habits. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are as good for your eyes as they are for the rest of your body. Practice optimal eye safety by wearing sunglasses that block UV radiation and wearing eye safety glasses on the job, when doing home repairs, and while playing sports.

Stanton Optical offers a variety of durable safety glasses in stock at each of their stores. Look through their selection of eyewear with flexible frames from Royal Vision. The retail eyeglass store also carries many impact resistant frames by Nike. Check your local store for the current selection of safety eyewear.