Health & Wellness

Older Folks Might Be Able to Improve Their Vision

Though they think they’re seeing the world clearly, many people are settling for less

By Wendy Haaf

Six in 10 70-year-olds might be able to see more clearly than they do currently, according to the results of a Swedish study.

When researchers at the University of Gothenburg evaluated the vision of 1,200 70-year-old residents of the university’s city, they found that 61.5% could see considerably better after either getting glasses or changing the power of their prescription—even though most of them had rated their eyesight as good.

In a press release, study authors stated that the results illustrate the importance of regular eye exams. “Visual impairment can creep up on you, making it difficult to notice that your eyes are getting worse,” said Lena Havstam Johansson, an ophthalmic nurse and co-author of the study. The study results were published in the scientific journal Acta Ophthalmologica.

On a related note, in an August 2019 online survey of 3,500 US adults conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 37% of respondents knew that symptoms don’t always precede vision loss due to eye disease, and only 47% recognized that it can be difficult to tell your vision is deteriorating, since your brain adapts.

Photo: iStock/zoranm.