Study shows that having mild vision impairment can lead to a negative quality of life

A recent study conducted at University College London and published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology has shown that mild visual impairment can lead to a significant negative quality of life.

This study surveyed 112.314 males and females. The volunteers were between 40 – 73 years old, who lived in 6 areas across England and Wales.

It’s thought that people with a severe visual impairment are likely to have adverse consequences on daily life. This study found this effect was also present in people with mild visual impairment.

Those with mild visual impairment (which did not affect driving) had a 20% higher chance of a lower job status. As well as a 10% risk of increased mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Other findings also included patients with mild visual impairment were also 12% more likely to say their health was poor.

The survey showed that many of the patients questioned had a mild visual impairment. Such as cataracts or other sight-threatening conditions such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.

What this study confirms is that patients who have mild visual disturbance not only suffer direct issues of poor vision. Their impaired vision could be contributing to mental health problems. It can also lead to lower social status.

Treating your age-related visual impairments early has many benefits beyond improving your vision.


Visual Function, Social Position, and Health and Life Chances
The UK Biobank Study
Phillippa M. Cumberland, MSc1,2; Jugnoo S. Rahi, PhD, FRCOphth1,2,3,4,5 ; for the UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online July 28, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.1778