The loss of our senses has adverse effects The lack of sensory processing in the brain is unnatural, increasing the risk of developing various mental health problems. In addition, the loss of our most important sense, sight, has severe repercussions on the state of our mind. In this post, we are discussing the effects of poor eyesight on mental health.
The Connections Between Poor Eyesight and Mental Health
Vision loss is directly proportionate to the risk of crippling depression. Bad eyesight affects even the simplest of our activities like reading, walking, driving, cooking, and even identifying the people around us. It affects all aspects of our lives: our educational and professional careers, family life, and even social life.
The inability to connect with people leads to feelings of isolation and loneliness, the two hallmarks the lead to depression. The failure to do the things you enjoy doing is also a major cause of developing depression. It’s harder to find joy in life when you can’t do what makes you happy.
Anxiety is the constant feeling of fear, worry, and tension. It often manifests itself physically through increased blood pressure or excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). For example, losing someone’s vision may trigger anxiety.
When the brain does not know how to process or can’t understand visual input, it becomes confused and may see threats where there are none. The confusion and overwhelming visual information the brain can’t comprehend triggers anxiety.
Furthermore, people with poor eyesight are more prone to accidents. They are likelier to fall when walking or going down the stairs, and they are more prone to automobile accidents when driving. The constant threat of accidents can make someone live in continual fear and worry.
The development of dementia is perhaps the typical result of losing the significant senses. Just as the loss of hearing increases the risk of dementia, so makes the loss of vision. And the same arguments why dementia is common among people with hearing impediments apply to the loss of eyesight.
There are three primary theories why the loss of hearing raises the chances of developing dementia. The reasons are: loss of hearing reduces social interactions, depletes the brain, and ultimately shrinks the brain.
Poor eyesight also compromises the social life of a person. They can’t connect with others as well as they used to when their vision was perfect. The feeling of isolation and loneliness can also cause dementia.
When the brain can’t understand visual signals properly, it may have to spend more of its resources and energy trying to make sense of those signals. Over time, the brain depletes its resources and energy. It will no longer perform other tasks such as making logical decisions, reasoning, remembering, or taking charge of speech. Consuming the brain’s resources can ultimately lead to dementia.
Lastly, when the neurons in the brain in charge of processing visual data are no longer in use, they become stagnant. The brain shrinks. The deterioration of the brain is a significant cause of dementia.
The Vicious Cycle
What makes the “poor eyesight can cause depression, anxiety, dementia, etc.” problem is that it is a destructive cycle. Poor eyesight can cause depression, but many medications for depression and anxiety can cause poor vision. So anyone can be stuck in this vicious cycle.
If a person’s vision gets blurry, depression or anxiety may set in after a while. Then if he takes depression and anxiety medications, his vision gets worse. As his eyes get worse, the risks of further developing depression, anxiety, and dementia worsen. Is there an end to this repetitive pattern?
Are There Solutions to the Problem?
There are many solutions to the eyesight problem – solutions that don’t aggravate the situation. These solutions don’t just treat the symptoms but even address the root causes of the issues.
Prevention is always better than cure. To maintain and take care of your vision. It’s so easy to take our eyes for granted. But taking care of them while they are at their best is paramount.
Eat well. A diet filled with greens is usually conducive to overall good health. But vegetables such as spinach, kale, or collards contain many vitamin A, the primary vitamin the eyes need. Non-meat sources of protein, oily fish, and citrus fruits are also good foods to incorporate into your diet for healthy eyes.
Quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and it damages the optic nerves.
Protect your eyes using sunglasses or eyeglasses that block UV rays and harmful light from computer screens.
The first reparative measure we recommend if your eyesight deteriorates is getting treatment. There are tons of treatments you can get for different eyesight problems. Realigning glasses, eye surgery, or other treatments are easily accessible if you pursue them.
Going through the changes of a worsening vision is hard. But no one has to go through the problem alone. Aside from getting treatment, we at Infinite Love Homecare strongly recommend getting support from family and friends.
Many people, especially seniors, going through drastic changes in their health are very hesitant to ask others for help. Unfortunately, this kind of mindset risks the health problem to worsen, but in the case of bad eyesight, it can lead to social isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and dementia.
Get help, no matter how small the help you need is. Even if it is just meal preparation or light housekeeping, these kinds of assistance are available. Infinite Love Homecare offers these services for seniors who can’t do these things for themselves. We also provide transportation services for seniors who can’t drive. We offer grocery shopping services and mobility services. We also provide companionship, a service that should not be underrated.
Reach out to Infinite Love Homecare today through our Contact us page and get a free consultation. You can also try calling us (949)-529-4130.