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Visiting an Ophthalmologist Can Decrease the Odds of Getting Dementia

Posted Feb 22 2010 6:32pm


By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room


Dr. Mary Rogers, a research Assistant Professor at University of Michigan Medical School, and her colleague, Kenneth Langa, a Professor of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan Medical School, have conducted a Medicare study which shows that “those with poor vision who visited an ophthalmologist at least once for an eye exam were 64% less likely to develop dementia.”

64%!

Problems which if not corrected increased the risk of dementia included cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal problems.

It certainly makes sense that significantly decreasing an individual’s sensory input would increase their risk of dementia.

Poor vision may make it less likely for an individual to read, do puzzles, socialize, even take walks. These are precisely the type of activities that lower the risk of Azheimer’s Disease.

Mary Rogers says, “Visual problems can have serious consequences and are very common among the elderly, but many of them are not seeking treatment.”

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 5 Americans over 50 have a visual impairment.

Imagine, just 1 visit to the ophthalmologist could make a huge difference in the quality of life.
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