Good vision offers you many benefits, including the ability to complete and enjoy many everyday tasks. Recently, researchers found that preserving vision as you age can also help maintain good mental function.

The board-certified eye doctors at Clarity Eye Group unpack the study’s findings in this blog post.

About the Study

A research team funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIIA) analyzed visual acuity and cognitive function data collected between 1993 and 2003 by the Salisbury Eye Evaluation (SEE) study. A total of 2,520 older adults enrolled in the study. The participants’ visual acuity was scored and they completed a 30-point questionnaire called the Mini Mental-State Examination or MMSE. The MMSE tested the participants’ memory, attention span, language capacity and other cognitive abilities. Data on participants’ visual acuity and their answers to the questionnaires was collected at multiple points in time — at enrollment, and then at the two-year, six-year and eight-year marks.

Researchers looked for connections between changes in visual acuity scores and changes in MMSE scores over time. They found correlations between the baseline scores and between the rate of change in the scores. Individuals with the biggest loss in visual acuity were also likely to have the worst decline in cognitive ability.

While the findings did not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship, researchers believe that vision has a stronger influence on cognitive function than cognitive function has on vision. One possible reason for this is that vision loss and impairment limits activities that keep the mind sharp. Older adults with vision problems are less likely to engage in activities or tasks that promote good cognitive function.

Enjoy a Lifetime of Good Vision with Clarity Eye Group

At Clarity Eye Group, our board-certified eye doctors are devoted to helping patients of all ages enjoy crisp, clear vision and a high quality of life. We have years of experience diagnosing, treating and managing a range of eye problems and diseases, including cataracts and glaucoma. To discuss your vision needs and goals, please schedule a personal appointment by contacting Clarity Eye Group today.