Healthy eyes can keep your brain healthy too!
Many of us have been personally touched by the effects and sadness of cognitive decline, such as dementia, in a loved one. Peak organisation Dementia Australia emphasises the importance of staying mentally active as we age, by doing mental exercise to boost your brain – building new brain cells and strengthening the connections between them.
This can include things like doing crossword puzzles and word finder games, playing cards, learning a new language or taking up a new hobby or sport.
For pretty much all of these things, good vision is important. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that older people with poor vision tend to drop these brain-boosting activities and are at increased risk of suffering cognitive decline. (Zheng, 2018) The study also revealed that they tend to spend less time socialising with friends, and we all know the importance of socialising and avoiding isolation in preventing depression as we get older.
Generally, declining vision isn’t a reason to think that you’ve got to give up on some of your favourite pastimes. Most age-related eye conditions in older people can be treated and managed by a range of therapies and vision aids. Keeping on top of problems through regular eye tests are the key. Shannon at Outlook Eye Centre can advise on a range of treatments, new technology, prescription lens options and low vision aids which can assist you in continuing to do the things you love and learn new skills too!