78% of Singaporeans age >60 have cataracts. Age-related eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy lead to vision deterioration, and in some cases, blindness.
According to Singapore National Eye Centre, adults age >60 should get a baseline eye screening to detect age-related eye conditions early.
Moreover, age-related eye conditions don’t just affect our vision! Research by the American Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that worsening eye health impacts mental health. For example:
Vision impairment affects mobility and limits access to social interaction. Elderly people with impaired vision may no longer be able to travel out of the house, pursue their hobbies, and participate in social activities, resulting in social isolation. In addition, they may begin to feel insecure about their increased reliance on others and the stigma that comes with blindness, increasing their chances of falling into depression.
Elderly people with impaired vision tend to become nervous about making mistakes, such as dialling the wrong number. They may also become excessively anxious about their deteriorating eyesight, leading to the development of anxiety disorder.
Reduced vision makes it difficult for the elderly to move around safely and independently, increasing their risk of falls, hip fractures and accidents. According to Health Promotion Board, there is evidence that improving vision by undergoing first cataract surgery reduces the risk of falls.
A simple eye screening can detect age-related eye conditions early so you can take corrective actions to prevent falls and emotional pain for your loved ones.