Factors Associated with Under Corrected Refractive Errors in an Older Population
Under Corrected Refractive Errors in an Older Population
Background: Recent studies have shown severe impact of visual impairment in elderly population in the form of falls, fractures, poor mobility, general health, morbidity and mortality. Visual acuity can be improved by correcting the refractive errors. Therefore, the present study was designed to study the demographic and visual acuity related factors associated with undercorrected refractive error. Subjects and Methods: The present study included 1236 randomly selected subjects of 50 years and above age group. Among them 1000 subjects were included in the study. Logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution chart was used for measuring visual activity. The chart was read at 8 feet and retro illuminated with automatic calibration to 85 cd/m2. Initially visual acuity was assessed with the subject’s current glasses, if worn .Then using a Humphrey 530 Automatic Refractor an objective refraction was performed on all participants. Results: Among all the study participants 230 patients showed visual acuity <45 letters (6/9 or worse) while there were 110 participants with under corrected refractive error (using the two line criterion). Hyperopia was very common among undercorrected refractive error subjects with p value <0.05. In contrast, no association was found between undercorrected refractive error and myopia (p>0.05). Time duration since last examination was directly relation between incidence of undercorrected refractive error in our study population with p value >0.05. Subjects who stated that they had worn distance glasses in the past were less likely to have undercorrected refractive error (OR 0.20; 95% CI 0.19 to 0.38; p>0.05). Conclusion: Findings of the present study demonstrated that prevalence of undercorrected refractive error is high in elderly population. Further, results of our study showed that aging, hyperopia, socioeconomic status and isolation were directly related to the undercorrected refractive error in elderly population. These undercorrected refractive errors can be corrected to some extent by using distance glasses in elderly population. These findings of our study might be helpful for the ophthalmologist recognising the risk factors and their consequences on visual acuity of elderly population.