Depression in the elderly: Maybe it’s all in your eyes

There is a common misconception that when you get old the quality of your life will diminish. The truth is you can enjoy life now more than ever. There is no reason to be depressed or to feel helpless. If you feel depressed, the problem may be something as simple as your vision. Among the elderly, there are many causes of depression and one of the most common causes is poor vision. This is not surprising since our sight affects the very quality of our lives. So, if you feel that life has become so limited and tiresome, maybe it’s time to have your eyes checked.

To help you know more about the connection between depression and poor vision, here are some facts that you will find informative. Hopefully, with this, you will be able to find out whether what you really need is something as simple as a good pair of eyeglasses to perk up your life.

What is depression?

According to Mayo Clinic depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness and lack of interest in regular or day-to-day activities. In most cases, depression in the elderly is, of course, different from the clinical depression. Consider the following fact: loss of vision is one of the predictors of depression, regardless of age, gender, social and economic status. This means that regardless of your age, without good eyesight, one is highly susceptible to become depressed.

What is the connection between vision and mental health?

Studies have shown that among the elderly there is a significant link between vision and mental health. Here is a good look at some of them:

  • Quality of lifeAmong the elderly, it has been found that certain eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, lower the quality of life of the individual suffering from such conditions. Similarly, those who have these conditions are at risk of suffering from depression. This is not surprising because how can you not feel depressed if you cannot play with your grandchildren or socialize because of your poor eyesight?
  • AnxietyThe loss of vision can create feelings of anxiety and gradual loss of vision in some elderly can cause hallucinations which can further increase one’s anxiety. Moreover, how can you not feel anxious if you are worried that you might suddenly trip or fall because you cannot see properly?

What you have to remember is that it is normal to have an emotional reaction to your loss of vision. The good thing is that there is something that you can do. Unlike other health conditions, the majority of vision problems are easily treated, even vision problems among the elderly. For example, for glaucoma, laser eye surgery or LASIK is one of the most effective treatments.

Do not let depression take command of your life. Maybe the problem is not your age, but your eyesight. Visit a good eye center, such as Houston LASIK & Eye in Houston. They can help you with your vision problems.

 

Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com.

About the Author
Amjad Khokhar is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Houston LASIK & Eye. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.
References:

http://www.uniteforsight.org/community-eye-health-course/module11

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977

http://www.eyeworld.org/article.php?sid=189&strict=&morphologic=&query=

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