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Gabrielle Shaughness, Ashok Vardhan, Jeyaseeli Flora, Brian Craig Stagg, Krishnamurthy Ilango, Joshua R Ehrlich; Functional Complaints of Patients Seeking Low Vision Services in Tamil Nadu, India. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):3302.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To describe the functional impairments of patients with different causes of low vision at a tertiary eye hospital in Tamil Nadu, India.
We performed a prospective survey of consecutive patients undergoing initial evaluation by the Low Vision Service at Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, India. Patients were asked whether they had any difficulty performing 13 different instrumental and non-instrumental tasks of daily living as a result of their vision. The primary cause of patients’ low vision was determined by the treating provider. The Fisher exact test was used to compare response data across diagnoses.
90 patients with low vision were surveyed about performance of 13 different tasks (Figure 1). Patients had a mean age of 41.4 ± 19.8 years, 63.3% were male, and 21.1% were not employed. Identifying the faces of other people was the most commonly impaired task across all low vision diagnoses, while reading bus numbers was cited nearly as frequently. The proportion of patients reporting impaired mobility varied significantly by diagnosis (p=0.04). Patients with congenital eye disease (83.3%) or glaucoma (75.0%) were most likely to report impaired mobility, while those with retinal pathology (excluding retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration) or neuro-ophthalmic diagnoses were least likely to report impaired mobility. These findings were not explained by differences in visual acuity between groups.
Different causes of low vision are associated with distinct functional impairments among patients in Tamil Nadu, India. This information is important for identifying individuals at risk for specific forms of vision-related functional loss. Interventions to improve facial recognition and distance vision should be a key part of low vision therapy.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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