Amarillo Globe News (Internet / Print) 06/06/06 Seniors can maintain their independence with a free medical eye exam. In addition to making it possible to enjoy things such as reading, gardening and golfing, good eye health influences many other aspects of life, including the ability to live independently as one ages. A recent study conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston even found that impaired vision may speed older adults' mental decline. While the exact reason for this link is unclear, researchers believe that it has to do with the fact that poor close-range vision might limit older adults' activities and hence contribute to cognitive decline.