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Low Vision May Lead to Depression

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 50 years of age. Currently, millions of Americans have vision challenges due to advanced AMD.

AMD Can Profoundly Affect Emotional And Mental Health

For those who suffer from AMD, and for those caring for them, it’s important to realize the emotional impact vision loss can have. Some people lose the hobbies they’ve loved for a lifetime. Many lose the independence that comes with being able to drive a car. Others even lose the ability to recognize loved ones’ faces.

A Proactive Plan Helps Prevent Depression

Studies have found that patients with AMD in both eyes are 25% more likely to develop clinical depression. However, in a study at Thomas Jefferson University, researchers found that utilizing coping techniques can reduce clinical depression risk by half!

“Coping techniques” are creative ways that adults with vision loss can continue to function with independence and enjoy their favorite activities. For example, if mobility is restricted, look into options for public transit, car services, or grocery delivery systems. Special computers and magnifying lenses can help. Some adjustments to the house may be in order such as improved lighting and more visible markers on labels and knobs.

Are You, Or Is Someone You Love And Care For, Over 60? Take Action

If you’re over 60 years of age, you’re at risk for AMD and other age-related eye conditions. Get a comprehensive eye exam every year to catch and treat issues early. If you’ve been diagnosed with AMD, it may be time to work out a plan and find various coping techniques. Let a Vision Source member practice help! We have the resources, tools, and experience to help you fight potential depression, and to assist patients in living a full life. Please find your local Vision Source practice and visit with them!

Top image by Flickr user Paul Hayday used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Image cropped from original.

Author Vision Source — Published November 7, 2014