According to a new study, more than 10 percent of U.S. adults with depression have also reported that they suffer from vision loss. This information has been published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
During this study, researchers analyzed data collected from 10,500 participants. What they learned was that depression affected 11.3 percent of those participants who reported vision loss when compared with the 4.8 percent of depressed patients who didn’t suffer from vision problems. In fact, the study showed that adults with vision loss were 90 percent more likely to suffer from depression than participants who didn’t have vision problems.
“Likely, the association between vision loss and depression could be related to other factors in addition to reduced visual acuity, particularly the disability that vision loss causes in a person’s life,” the researchers said. “Our findings suggest that eye care professionals should consider patients’ psychological conditions and provide referrals to those exhibiting depressive symptoms.”
The study was conducted by Dr. Xinzhi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues, who used information from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Depression is often treated with antidepressant medications like Paxil and Effexor. Both drugs are known to cause some users to have violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Paxil and Effexor are also known to cause birth defects (PPHN, oral clefts, neural tube defects, spina bifida) in babies whose mothers take the pills while pregnant. Learning that the condition can be caused by vision loss may help doctors to find an alternative treatment for depression that is safer for the user. Other well-known and safer alternatives may include changes in diet, exercise, yoga and talk therapy. All of these treatments have been linked to a decrease in depression symptoms, with some studies are even suggesting that they all work better than antidepressant medications like Paxil and Effexor. They’re clearly far safer to use.