How vision loss can affect the brain


“When people have vision loss, they change the way they live. They decrease their physical activity and they decrease their social activity, two elements so important in maintaining a healthy brain, ”said Dr. Swenor. “It puts them on a fast track to cognitive decline.”

But identifying and correcting vision loss early on can help, Dr. Zheng said. She suggested regular eye exams – at least once every two years, and more often if you have diabetes, glaucoma, or other conditions that can damage vision. “Make sure you can see through your glasses well,” she urged.

There are “vision problems that glasses don’t fix,” said Dr Swenor, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Retinal disease began to affect Dr Swenor’s vision in his mid-twenties. Those with problems like hers can benefit from something called low vision rehabilitation, a form of physical eye therapy that helps visually impaired people cope with common situations and helps them function better in society.

Dr Swenor, for example, can see objects in a high contrast situation, such as a black cat against a white fence, but has difficulty seeing the difference between similar colors. She can’t pour white milk into a white cup without spilling it, for example. His solution: use a dark colored mug. Finding such accommodation is a permanent task, but it allows him to continue to function well professionally and socially.

The company must also help the visually impaired to function safely outside the home. Most things in hospitals are white, for example, which creates safety risks for people with reduced contrast sensitivity. As a 50 year old driver, I have noticed that road barriers that were the same color as the road surface are now more often rendered in high contrast colors like orange or yellow, which reduces undoubtedly accidents, even for people who can see perfectly.

“We need to create a more inclusive society that welcomes people with visual impairments,” said Dr Swenor.

People with depth perception issues can also incorporate useful design features into the home. Placing colored bands on risers, varying furniture textures, and color-coding objects can all improve the ability to navigate safely. People who can no longer read books can also listen to audiobooks, podcasts or music instead, Dr Swenor said.


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