Elderly people who do not get their visual disorders treated are more likely to develop Alzheimer"s disease, according to research from the University of Michigan Health System.
Using Medicare data, the study discovered that those with poor vision, which may include contact lens wearers, who visited an ophthalmologist at least once for an examination were 64 per cent less likely to develop dementia.
"Visual problems can have serious consequences and are very common among the elderly, but many of them are not seeking treatment," says lead author Mary A.M. Rogers, research assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.
Ms Rogers, who is also research director of the Patient Safety Enhancement Program at the U-M Health System and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center, added that the research has shown it is important for elderly individuals with visual problems to seek medical attention.
by Emily Tait