Dementia and sight loss
If you have dementia and sight loss, we can help make life easier.
More than 250,000 people are living with dementia and sight loss in the UK, so you are not alone.
In partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, we produced a leaflet on dementia and sight loss that has useful information for anyone with dementia or those who support them. As well as learning more about dementia and sight loss, you'll find a handy checklist to make sure you have everything covered when visiting an optometrist and other information that will help you make the most of your sight.
At RNIB, we want to improve eye health across the country. We have lots of great resources for people with dementia and sight loss, families and carers as well as professionals. Please share this page with anyone who you think might find it useful.
Causes of sight loss among people with dementia
Most people with dementia and sight loss in the UK are over 65. Sight loss among people with dementia can be caused by:
- an eye condition (such as cataract)
- another health condition (such as stroke)
- normal ageing of the eye, and
- the dementia itself.
Look after your sight
We recommend that people have regular eye tests to check their vision and eye health. Eye tests are especially important for people with dementia because the symptoms of dementia might mask the symptoms of sight loss.
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, sight tests are free every two years if you are over the age of 60 and annually if you are over the age of 70. In Scotland, sight tests are free for all ages and over 60s are seen annually.
Advice for professionals
If you are a professional who supports someone with dementia and sight loss, visit our webpage for professionals. It has lots of useful information including tips to help you communicate better, ways to help in the home, and guidelines for using technology to support someone with dementia and sight loss.
RNIB's work on dementia and sight loss has been supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.