When it comes to sight, we often take what we have and what’s been given to us for granted. We’re so accustomed to a way of being, living and existing that the thought of seeing the world in a different light doesn’t often cross our minds. If we’ve been blessed enough to be born with good eyesight, these thoughts are even less common. However, reliance on sight is more than just a comfort and source of information in our lives, it can be essential to our way of living, interacting with others in social situations and even affects our mortality.
Degradation of Sight with Age
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that sight usually declines with age and time, although other factors are also involved, this is generally the overall trend. Similar trends are displayed in hearing loss and memory loss too. So why does this occur? Well, our vision depends on our eye’s ability and efficiency in focusing. This can occur due to the hardening of the eye lenses or the eye muscles gradually becoming weaker over the years. As the muscles become weaker, they lose their ability to contract and work efficiently. As the lenses harden, there is less flexibility within the eye and so being able to focus on an object becomes more difficult.
How can sight loss increase mortality?
As we rely on sight for the majority of our daily lives and ordinary activities, the loss of sight can have major implications and effects to the quality of life that you have. The implementation of previously simple activities, such as washing clothes, ironing and tidying a room become impractical, dangerous and even beyond capacity. Without proper care, this can leave a person with even more dangerous surroundings and a lower quality of life as hygiene and sanity are compromised.
Losing your sight also increases your dependence on another person to aid the completion of tasks that would have normally taken a matter of minutes to complete. This reliance can lower the sense of self-esteem that would normally belong to someone who is independent and self-reliant. A low self-esteem can lead to depression and other mental health issues which may also further decrease the quality of life and mortality. It has been proven and also makes sense, that those who suffer from a loss of vision have increased rates and a higher likelihood of feeling suicidal and having suicidal thoughts.
Maintaining healthy vision is, therefore, essential to prolonging life in old age and to keeping a positive, strong sense of independence and mental health. Sight is more than just a resource that we take for granted and overlook, it is a lifeline and should be cared for competently.