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New Study Finds Link Between Vision Correction and Improved Mental Health

A new study has found that two thirds of people who have vision correction surgery go on to lead a more active lifestyle, improving their health and mental wellbeing.

New research, published by Optical Express during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, shows that 65% of patients who have eye surgery go on to lead a more active lifestyle and take part in more physical exercise after the treatment.*

The research, based on a study of 9,401 Optical Express patients treated from January to April 2021, indicates that patients are limiting physical exercise while their vision is restricted, and increasing activity to their desired level once their eyesight is restored.

The link between physical exercise and improved mental health is well established. In 2018, a study involving over one million people showed that, on average, people who exercise regularly experience 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health per month than those who do not exercise.̌

Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director, Optical Express, said:

“Patients frequently tell us that having poor vision severely impacts their confidence and ability to take part in physical activities. Often, the first thing patients want to do after surgery is an outdoor pursuit they didn’t feel able to do while their vision was impaired – whether that’s a skydive, swimming or simply a walk in the countryside.

“We know how important exercise is, not just for your physical health but also for your mental wellbeing. So for anyone who has concerns that their vision may be affecting their mental health, or preventing them from being as active as they’d like, we’d recommend making an appointment at one of our clinics.”

Paul, Optical Express Laser Eye Surgery Patient:

“I’ve always been a keen cyclist and runner, and last year I started doing triathlons for the first time. Swimming became something I do more often, so it became more of a motivating factor for me.

“Even beyond the triathlons and the sport, it’s about being able to go swimming with the kids, and go in the sea, and not having to be aware that I’ve got contact lenses in or wearing glasses. It’s the freedom of it really, the freedom to be able to go and do all those things without having to worry about it.”

If you have any concerns about how your vision might be impacting your mental health, physical health or wellbeing make an appointment at your nearest Optical Express clinic today to speak to one of our experts.


*In a study of 9401 Optical Express patients treated from January to April 2021, 62.9% said they take part in more physical exercise following treatment, and 65.3% said they lead a more active lifestyle following treatment.

̌Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1·2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study,

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