How Eye Exams Keep Your Brain Young

Medically reviewed in February 2022

When was your last eye exam? It's possible your answer could affect your risk of Alzheimer's.

In a study, people with vision problems who failed to visit the eye doctor—or who left their vision problems untreated—were nine times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Time for a checkup?

The Vision/Cognition Connection
To be clear, researchers don't think vision problems are a direct cause of Alzheimer's disease. But untreated eye problems could keep people from engaging in the types of activities that are good for your brain—like reading, playing games, and even walking and socializing.

Prioritize Your Eyes
Regardless of the connection between untreated eye problems and cognitive decline, there are lots of other good reasons to see your eye-care specialist regularly. The most important? Sight-robbing eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy typically don't have any early warning signs. Regular eye exams are the only way to spot them and treat them early. (Visit the Sharecare Eye Health Center to get the scoop on preventing and treating some of the most common eye diseases.)

Find out when you should be screened for vision problems.

Eye exam coming up? Take along this list of top questions to ask your doctor.

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