Do you know an older person who seems depressed? Common symptoms include decreased energy, insomnia, irritability or an appetite change. While getting older has many challenges, a recent study indicates that poor vision may contribute to depression in older adults. The good news is that many causes of poor vision can be treated providing literally a new view on life for seniors.
The study appeared in Investigative Ophthalmology, a scientific journal. The link between poor vision and depression was found to be due to the decreased mobility vision impaired adults experience. After a lifetime of being able to care for themselves and go wherever they want, being stuck at home is not good for the psyche.
If you think this is a problem with your friend or family member, a first step is to schedule a complete eye examination with us and a thorough medical evaluation with their primary care doctor. Many vision problems like cataracts and some types of macular degeneration can be treated with successful improvements in vision. Medical issues such as over-medication or an underactive thyroid can also be easily adjusted.
If all that checks out, you can ease the burden by being there to transport and engage that at-risk senior. Let them feel like life is worth living. Sure you may hear "I don't know why they call them the golden years," but at least you can make the transition a bit easier.
Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist who specialized in medical and surgical eye care such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.