Recent studies by the University of Michigan and the University of Washington, Seattle have linked poor vision with an increased risk for cognitive disorders.
The importance of routine eye care cannot be under stated. Decreased vision due to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration or other eye-realted conditions have long been associated with poor quality of life, but evidence now suggests that it could be a contributor for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
At the University of Michigan, elderly people with untreated vision problems were found to have a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease 9 times greater than those whose vision was treated.
In Seattle, it was found that visual impairment is associated with both an increased risk and an increased clinical severity of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the United States, an estimated 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and someone develops the disease every 69 seconds. Unless something is done, as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s in 2050 and someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds. In 2010, 14.9 million family members and friends provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias – care valued at $202.6 billion.