Old and depressed? A pair of spectacles could cheer you up.
A study of residents of old age homes in the US found that in many cases depression was linked to poor vision – and eyeglasses dramatically improved the quality of lives of users.
Findings of the study have been published in the November issue of the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.
The research team, led by Cynthia Owsley of the University of Alabama, conducted a trial with two groups of nursing home residents – one which received eyeglasses and another that did not.
Vision-related quality-of-life and depressive symptoms were measured at the start of the study and at two months.
At the start, both groups had similar demographic and medical characteristics-and similar vision problems. After two months, vision improved in the group that received eyeglasses, while there was no change in the condition of the other group.
But, more importantly, apart from receiving higher scores for general vision and vision-related activity like reading, this group also scored higher in other activities, hobbies and social interaction-as well as fewer depressive symptoms.
"This study implies that there are significant, short-term quality-of-life and psychological benefits to providing the most basic of eye care services -namely, spectacle correction – to older adults," the authors conclude.