Vision degeneration is considered normal because aging results in the decreased production of certain body chemicals and fluids which help people enjoy good eyesight. However, while gradual vision impairment—and possibly loss of eyesight—is part of life, this does not mean that people should not take action to protect and help themselves. One reason for this is that vision loss greatly affects the quality of life, as highlighted by a recently released paper from The JAMA Network Journals:

Vision loss can adversely affect the ability of older adults to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as using the telephone, shopping and doing housework, which are all measures of an individual’s ability to live independently, and that subsequently increases mortality risk.

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Declines in VA acuity over time were associated with increased mortality risk in part because of decreasing levels of IADL over time. Individuals who experienced increasing difficulty with IADL had an increase in mortality risk that was 3 percent greater annually and 31 percent greater during the 8-year study period than individuals with a stable IADL difficulty level. Participants who experienced the decline in VA of one letter on an acuity chart were expected to have a 16 percent increase in mortality risk during the 8-year study because of associated declines in IADL levels.

Vision Loss Adversely affects daily Function in Older adults
Aging brings about subtle changes to human vision and eye structure, which could lead to reduced eye performance and even vision loss that would create a more complicated life for many people. Some of the most common changes in the eyes that occur as people age—such as reduced pupil size, dry eyes, and vitreous detachment—can increase the risk of blindness.

For those who are already experiencing signs of vision loss, the most beneficial course of action would be to approach a qualified Indianapolis eye doctor like Penn Moody, OD of Moody Eyes. Medical professionals can offer advice and treatments that could help people better cope with the onset of vision loss. Moreover, these specialists can monitor the progression of eyesight degeneration and may even prescribe modalities or medications that can reduce the speed of the deterioration.

In cases that involve advanced symptoms of vision loss, optometrists can refer patients to an experienced and trustworthy ophthalmologist in Indianapolis for more intensive treatment plans. People should always remember that it is the medical profession’s goal to do whatever it takes to help their patients regain health and cope better with existing conditions.

(Source: Vision loss adversely affects daily function in older adults, The JAMA Network Journals, August 21, 2014)