Imagine forgetting your loved ones’ names or where you live. This is the reality for people with dementia, a disease that causes memory loss.
Dementia is a big problem for old people, especially those over 71 years old.
A group of researchers wanted to see if there was a connection between losing sight and getting dementia.
What is This New Study About?
The study was done at the University of Michigan, in the US. The researchers looked at the health data of about 3,000 Americans.
These people were all over 71 years old. The data came from a bigger study called the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS).
The NHATS study had tested people’s eyesight. It checked if they could see things far away, things close up, and things against different backgrounds. It also recorded if the people had dementia.
What Did The Researchers Find?
The researchers found something interesting. People who had problems with their sight were more likely to have dementia. This was compared to people who could see fine.
Now, you might know that there are things that can increase your chances of getting dementia. Some of these are smoking, having high blood pressure, or losing your hearing.
But, sight loss was not one of these things. This study suggests that losing your sight might also be a risk factor for dementia.
What Does This Mean For Us?
Dr. Susan Mitchell, a top person at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said this study was important.
According to her, we are learning more about how things like losing your sight can increase your chance of getting dementia. If we can find all the things that increase this chance, we could help prevent dementia in some people.
What Can We Do Now?
Even though this study gives us new information, we still need more research. We need to know why losing your sight can increase your chances of getting dementia. Knowing this could help us prevent dementia in more people.
For instance, did you know that having diabetes can make you more likely to get dementia? It can also make you lose your sight.
So maybe the connection between sight loss and dementia is actually diabetes. Or, maybe losing your sight and getting dementia both happen because of something in your brain.
Losing your sight can sometimes be prevented.
If we can confirm that losing your sight can increase your chances of getting dementia, we might be able to prevent more cases of dementia. This can be done by helping people take care of their sight.
Looking After Our Brains
In the meantime, there are things we can all do to keep our brains healthy. We can keep our hearts healthy, do new activities, and spend time with other people.
A Final Word
We all know that losing your sight can make life hard. This study shows that it might also increase your chance of getting dementia.
But remember, this is just one study. We need more research to know for sure. Until then, let’s do our best to take care of our sight and our brains.
If you care about eye health, please read studies about one step closer to treatment for the most common blinding eye disease, and scientists find drug treatment for eye disease cataracts.
The study was published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
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