Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

For many older adults, vision prescription differs between eyes

Date:
November 26, 2013
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
Follow-up in older adults shows a high rate of anisometropia, or differing levels of visual abnormalities between eyes, reports a study.

Follow-up in older adults shows a high rate of anisometropia, or differing levels of visual abnormalities between eyes, reports a study in Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

"Uncorrected anisometropia is likely to lead to disturbances in binocular vision and stereopsis, which in turn may contribute to falls in the elderly," concludes the new research, led by Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy, OD, PhD, FAAO, of University of California, Berkeley. They emphasize the importance of appropriate vision correction in both eyes for older adults -- especially at more advanced ages.

Study Confirms Increased Anisometropia with Aging

The researchers analyzed vision examination results in 118 older adults followed up over 12 years -- from an average age of 67 to 79 years at the end of the study. The study focused on the development of anisometropia, defined as a significant difference (one diopter or more) in prescription (refractive error) between the two eyes in one of four components.

During the study period, the prevalence of anisometropia increased significantly. For each of the four prescription components, the prevalence of anisometropia approximately doubled. As the participants approached 80 years of age, 32 percent met the study definition of anisometropia.

The differences in prescription components provided some clues to the causes of aging-related anisometropia. Most cases were related to differing degrees of farsightedness (hyperopia) between eyes. Others were caused by early but unequal blurring of the lens of the eye -- even though none of the older adults in the study had eye lenses that met the usual clinical definition of cataracts.

Within the age range studied, differences between eyes could begin to occur anytime, with no particular preference for any one age. In a few patients, anisometropia actually decreased during the study.

Need for Proper Correction in Both Eyes

Previous studies, based on cross-sectional (one-time) measurements, have suggested that the rate of anisometropia increases exponentially with aging. However, these studies provide no information on how the visual mismatch develops over time, or the specific refractive error components involved.

Dr Haegerstrom-Portnoy and coauthors cite previous studies showing that the prevalence of anisometropia in children is only two to four percent. They write, "Whatever the cause of the increase in anisometropia with aging, the fact that significant anisometropia is at least ten times more common in those over 75 years of age than in children needs to be clearly emphasized to clinicians."

Anthony Adams, OD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science, comments: "For older people a lack of correction of this prescription difference between the eyes may contribute to the increased frequency of falls that, in turn, can have a severe impact on health and even life expectancy." Under current American Academy of Optometry guidelines, people over age 65 are considered a high-risk group, for whom visual examination and screening are recommended at least every two years.

Dr Adams raises special concern over the frequent use of "over-the-counter drugstore reading glasses" by older adults. He adds, "These 'dime store readers' are made to be generic, with identical focusing or magnification power in each eye -- certainly not an ideal solution for at least 30 percent of the over-age-75 population who have differing visual requirements between eyes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy, Marilyn E. Schneck, Lori A. Lott, Susan E. Hewlett, John A. Brabyn. Longitudinal Increase in Anisometropia in Older Adults. Optometry and Vision Science, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000114

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "For many older adults, vision prescription differs between eyes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126155834.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2013, November 26). For many older adults, vision prescription differs between eyes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126155834.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "For many older adults, vision prescription differs between eyes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126155834.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins