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Nicole Ross, Tiffany L Chan, Alexis G Malkin, Kristin Protosow, Ava K Bittner; Reported functional difficulty with near tasks in those with mild and moderate visual impairment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):2560.
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Previous studies have reported that the majority of patients presenting for outpatient low vision rehabilitation (LVR) have mild to moderate visual impairment (VI) with a chief complaint of reading. However, this self-selecting group of patients may not be representative of the broader population with mild to moderate VI who have not presented for LVR. In a retrospective review of data collected in a population-based study, we explored the prevalence of near functional complaints among individuals with mild VI in the United States.
We analyzed data from NHANES 2007-2008 for individuals aged 50+ years to evaluate the proportion of those who had difficulty with newsprint or “up close work”. Data were included from 1,497 eligible NHANES participants with presenting distance visual acuity (VA) 20/25 to 20/40 (mild VI; n=1245) or 20/50 to 20/80 (moderate VI; n=252) in the better-seeing eye.
For those with mild VI, 30% reported their vision was fair to very poor. About a quarter (28%) with mild VI and 40% with moderate VI indicated at least some difficulty reading newsprint. About a fifth (21%) with mild VI and nearly a third (32%) with moderate VI reported at least some difficulty with close up work. A third (33%) with mild VI and 46% with moderate VI had difficulty with either or both reading newsprint and/or close up work. Nearly half (47%) of people with mild or moderate VI reported worry about their eyesight at least some of their time. In multiple logistic regressions, those with mild or moderate VI were significantly more likely to report difficulty with reading newsprint and/or close up work if they worried about eyesight (OR=3.6, 95% CI: 2.8-4.7; p<0.001)(OR=5.4, 95% CI: 2.9-9.9; p<0.001), had AMD (OR=3.9, 95% CI: 2.2,7.0; p<0.001)(OR=6.0, 95% CI: 1.1,32.8; p=0.038), or were not a high school graduate for VA 20/25-40 (OR=1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.1; p=0.001) or not a college graduate for VA 20/50-80 (OR=3.4, 95% CI: 1.2-9.6; p=0.023), while age (p=0.07)(p=0.77), gender (p=0.95) (p=0.13) and household size (p>0.15)(p>0.11) were not significantly related.
Functional impairments at near are noted in a third of participants presenting with mild and moderate VI. This is consistent with previous findings reported in LVR patients. Results indicate the need for consideration of LVR and optometric services to enhance functional ability in this growing patient population.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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