Depression and Vision Loss

Depression and Vision Loss

Photo of an old lady getting an eye examination

Loss of visual function may be caused by eye conditions that affect the ability to read, see faces, or travel independently. This loss can be devastating because of its consequences. Some individuals may be in jeopardy of losing a job, while others may be forced to give up driving, which symbolizes independence and freedom of movement. Still others may be faced with the prospect of being unable to cope independently, and may have to move into a nursing home. It is not unusual for providers of low vision care to witness depression among their patients. According to the Mayo Clinic, many factors have been linked with depression, including: life changes, illness, medications, biochemical factors, history of mental or emotional disorders, and substance abuse. A heart attack, Parkinson's disease, stroke, or vision loss may lead to life changes that can cause depression. Individuals may exhibit the same emotional reactions to the loss of vision as those who lose a loved one or a limb. These reactions include: shock, depression, anxiety, disbelief, grief, denial or anger.

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