By MASATOSHI TODA/ Staff Writer
June 30, 2020 at 18:40 JST
Senior citizens enjoy watching a basketball game in Akita. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Researchers have found that elderly people in Japan who are socially active tend to have good eyesight and that visual acuity helps determine the level of social participation for senior citizens.
A team of researchers, led by Yoshimune Hiratsuka of the Department of Ophthalmology at Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, recently published the results of a study on the relationship between visual acuity and social participation in the Social Science and Medicine journal.
The team conducted a survey in 2016 of about 22,000 people who were aged 65 and older.
They found that the elderly with better vision participated in volunteer activities and senior citizen clubs more often than those with poorer vision.
The respondents who said they could see things “very well” were 1.6 times more likely to participate in social activities than those who said, “I can see things.”
The respondents who said they could see things “well” were 1.3 times more likely to participate in social activities than those who said, “I can see things.”
Social participation among the respondents who said, “I can’t see things well” and “I can’t see things at all” were 0.6 times of those who said, "I can see things."
In particular, those with poorer vision were less likely to participate in physical activities.
“It is important to improve the visual acuity of seniors for them to actively participate in society,” Hiratsuka said.
He recommends that people have an eye exam at least once every several years and choose the proper glasses to correct their vision.
Undergoing a fundoscopic examination is also recommended to detect eye diseases as well as other problems, Hiratsuka said.
The research result can be read here:
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