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HomeminewsLighting For Vision Acuity

Lighting For Vision Acuity

Older people who experience vision problems at home, but have 20/20 vision in the optometrist’s testing rooms, may need to adjust their lighting, according to a study out of Washington University School of Medicine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

“It’s very common for older patients to have concerns about their vision but then test well on the eye charts when we examine them,” said first author Dr. Anjali M. Bhorade. “In this study, we found vision in patients’ homes was significantly worse than in the clinic. The major factor contributing to this difference was poor lighting in the home.” 

One-hundred-seventy-five patients, aged 55-90 years participated in the study, including 126 with glaucoma. All had their vision measured at home and in a clinic. 
Dr. Bharode reported average scores on vision tests were better in the clinic than at home, for people with and without glaucoma, when tested for intermediate and close up vision, contrast and glare sensitivity. She reported the biggest difference observed was for distance vision in patients with advanced glaucoma.

Dr. Bharode said the study suggests better lighting may increase vision and possibly improve quality of life. “The lighting levels were below the recommended range in more than 85 per cent of homes we visited… The houses we visited were almost three to four times less bright than an average clinic.”

However she recommended in-home evaluations by occupational therapists or low-vision rehabilitation specialists because “not all older adults benefit from increased lighting”.