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A. A. Black, J. M. Wood, D. Caruso, K. M. Corrigan, J. L. Hur, S. J. Sharma, J. M. Wu; The Effect of Monocular and Binocular Cataract Blur on Postural Stability Among Older Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):515.
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First-eye cataract surgery can reduce the rate of falls among older adults, yet the effect of second-eye surgery on the rate of falling remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of monocular and binocular simulated cataract blur on postural stability among older adults.
Postural stability was assessed on 34 healthy older adults (mean 68.2 years, SD 3.5) with normal vision, using a portable force platform (BT4, HUR Labs, Finland) which collected data on centre of pressure (COP) displacement. Stability was assessed on firm and foam surfaces under four binocular viewing conditions using Vistech filters to simulate cataract blur:  best-corrected vision both eyes;  blur over non-dominant eye,  blur over dominant eye and  blur over both eyes. Binocular logMAR visual acuity, Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity and stereoacuity were also measured under these viewing conditions and ocular dominance measured using the hole-in-card test. Generalized estimating equations with an exchangeable correlation structure examined the effect of the surface and vision conditions on postural stability.
Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were significantly reduced under monocular and binocular cataract blur compared to normal viewing. All blur conditions resulted in loss of stereoacuity. Binocular cataract blur significantly reduced postural stability compared to normal vision on the firm (COP path length; p=0.013) and foam surface (anterior-posterior COP RMS, COP path length and COP area; p<0.01). However, no significant differences in postural stability were found between the monocular blur conditions compared to normal vision, or between the dominant and non-dominant monocular blur conditions on either the firm or foam surfaces.
Findings indicate that binocular blur significantly impairs postural stability, and suggests that improvements in postural stability may justify first-eye cataract surgery, particularly during somatosensory disruption. Postural stability was not significantly impaired in the monocular cataract blur conditions compared to the normal vision condition, nor was there any effect of ocular dominance on postural stability in the presence of monocular cataract blur.
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