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Glasses 'improve mental health of nursing home residents'

Glasses 'improve mental health of nursing home residents'
13th November 2007

Giving nursing home residents glasses can reduce their susceptibility to depression, according to new US research.

Scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham studied 142 nursing home residents aged 55 or above. They divided the residents into two groups: 78 residents were given eyeglasses one week after check-up, while 64 received eyeglasses two months after check-up.

At the two-month point, the eyeglasses group's vision had improved. More significantly, they also achieved higher scores on reading, hobbies and social interaction tests and exhibited 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 residing in nursing homes," the researchers concluded.

The vision impairment in question is uncorrected refractive error, which results in blurred vision due to the back of the eye not receiving the correct amount of light.

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