As we age, it’s normal to experience some vision loss. However, researchers found that these individuals who lose their sight rapidly are at a higher risk of developing depression. Understanding the link between vision loss and depression will allow you to help your loved one, or yourself, deal with vision loss.
A person with “low vision” is categorized as someone who has difficulty doing daily tasks, even with contacts, glasses, medication, or surgery. Studies show that twenty-five percent of individuals who develop age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness in individuals over sixty, develop clinical depression. This isn’t a big surprise, as poor vision makes it harder to do activities you enjoy, like reading, driving, and even cooking. It can be hard to see people’s faces, interact and engage with them.
Coping with Vision Loss
While macular degeneration is a blow, remember there are preventative steps to take to keep your vision from getting worse and ways to cope with vision loss. It’s important to not only receive practical support, but also emotional support to prevent or mitigate the effects of depression.
Make sure you see your optometrist regularly, as they will be able to diagnose your condition. After your diagnosis, you may be referred to a low-vision rehabilitation specialist or occupational therapist. While macular degeneration affects your central vision, it does not affect your peripheral vision. Visiting a specialist can help you maximize your remaining vision abilities.
Your optometrist or specialist will help you stay ahead of your condition by providing extra support and changing your eyeglasses’ prescription as needed. There are also some steps you can take at home to aid your eyes:
- Use a magnifying lens to help with close-up work like reading or working on the computer.
- Invest in brighter lightbulbs to make the rooms in your house more visible.
- Change your computer display to increase font size and adjust for more contrast.
- Buy appliances made for low vision like clocks and phones with voice command and responses.
Like any chronic condition, macular degeneration requires those affected to adapt. Lean on your optometrist, specialist, therapist, and friends and family to remain independent, active, and happy while you cope with vision loss.
The staff and optometrists at Complete Eye Care of Medina in Minnesota are thorough and empathetic. We’re ready to help you adjust and adapt to any vision problems you’re experiencing so you can continue living an independent and active life. Call us at 763-478-3505 or visit us online at completeeyecareofmedina.com to schedule your appointment today.