“How well I see can affect my longevity?”

Yes. Here’s why.

When we are younger, clear vision is necessary to perform at our highest level, both at work and in our hobbies. There’s a level of vitality that we only experience when we can see well.

Then, we age. Our vision naturally deteriorates. And this has surprising consequences.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that loss of vision had the most damaging effect on performing our daily activities, more than physical illness, depression, smoking, alcohol use, and obesity.

And when we lose our ability to live independently, we not only lose our sense of ourselves, but we also die sooner. According to the study, people whose visual acuity dropped one letter on an eye chart per year experienced a 16% increase in mortality risk over eight years.

But there’s hope!

“Prevention of disabling ocular conditions, treatment of correctable visual impairment, and interventions designed to prevent the effect of visual impairment…may all reduce mortality risk in aging adults.” – JAMA

Your vision isn’t just about your quality of life. It’s about your life itself.

Katzen Eye Group is known for giving our patients “a better vision” and lives without glasses or contacts by performing corrective eye surgery, like modern LASIK. But we also offer comprehensive annual eye exams to everyone. An annual eye exam is much more than a “vision test.” Our patients’ eyes are examined using six different machines that investigate the health of every part of the eye. In addition to assessing eye health and vision acuity, an annual eye exam can catch early warning signs for other diseases, like diabetes.

As we age, deteriorating vision happens to all of us. But what we do about our deteriorating vision is up to us. It starts with getting a clear picture about the health of your eyes. The next step is to ensure you can see well.

What you then do with your clear vision is up to you. Consider how your life and lifespan may improve by simply having an annual eye exam. Start today.

To learn more about the findings of the JAMA study, read the NPR.org article “Vision Problems Increase the Risk of Early Death in Older People.”