Who would ever think that what you can’t see could depress you?
What this study is about
But that is what a new study shows. If you want to take an important step to preserve your mental health and physical health and avoid depression, get your vision corrected as soon as you can.
The study is published in the journal Menopause found. The study’s title was “Longitudinal association of midlife vision impairment and depressive symptoms: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, Michigan site.”
What the study found
Women in and around menopause are know to have the highest amount of depression compared with all other age groups, and women are known to have a higher rate of depression than men. This new study found that midlife vision impairment is one of the factors that contributes to future depressive symptoms in midlife women.
We already know that poor vision is a common cause of falls due to not seeing a step properly, or not seeing a bulge in a rug or item on the floor when going to the bathroom at night. But the association of poor vision with depression is a new finding. And it is a time of life when vision impairment prevalence triples.The study used data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), and followed women over time to find out how much vision impairment affected the risk of depression. The worse the vision problem (mild, moderate, severe) the worse the level of depression. The earlier the vision problem was detected, the better the person’s physical and mental health.
What eye problems in particular lead to depression?
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Hypertensive retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
The findings are a simple message to share:
- Get annual eye exams
- Control medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes so they won’t damage your eyes
- Make sure you eye exams include checking the pressure in your eyes to rule out glaucoma
- Look around your home to identify places where falls are a risk, like stairs, rugs, the path to the bathroom, etc
If you want to lower your risk of midlife depression, have your eyes examined regularly. You’ll be looking at the world through rosier glasses and make 2022 a 20/20 year.