Press releases

Large Numbers of Older Adults Are Thought to Wear Unsuitable Glasses

08 Nov 2018 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | Public health


Researchers from Inserm, Université de Bordeaux and Sorbonne Université have published a study showing that, out of a population of older adults, nearly 40 % have a poorly-corrected vision problem (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) which could be improved by wearing more suitable glasses. These findings have been published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Vision problems are common in older adults and associated with negative outcomes in terms of health, quality of life and dependency in activities of daily living. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism continue to represent major causes of visual impairment even though they can be corrected simply by wearing the right glasses.

Using data from the Alienor cohort, in which more than 700 people aged 78 or over were evaluated, researchers from Inserm, Université de Bordeaux and Sorbonne Université studied the vision problems related to refractive error (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) and which were uncorrected or poorly corrected by the right glasses or contact lenses.

In the study, the researchers showed that nearly 40 % of those aged 78 or over were not wearing the right glasses.

There are a number of reasons for this, explains Catherine Helmer, Inserm researcher in charge of the study, which may be related to fatalism with the perception that visual decline is normal with aging or to financial reasons which persist despite the help available.”

In addition, nearly 50 % of those examined at home (due to unwillingness or inability to come to the clinic) and 35 % of those with age-related eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma…) were estimated to wear unsuitable glasses.

Beyond the large number of poorly-corrected vision problems in the entire population studied, the yet larger proportion of poor correction in those examined at home should incite prevention strategies aimed specifically at them. Furthermore, the discovery of a large number of poorly-corrected vision problems in people with eye disease – for which they are most often monitored – underlines the need to look out for these unsuitable corrections.” concludes Helmer.

Researcher Contact
Catherine Helmer Chercheuse Inserm Unité 1219 BPH : Bordeaux Population Health Research Center Equipe Expositions vie entière, santé, vieillissement- LEHA +33 (0)5 57 57 45 15 rf.xuaedrob-u@remleh.enirehtac
Press Contact
Sources Prevalence and associated factors of Uncorrected Refractive Error in Older Adults in a Population-Based Study In France   Virginie Naël, MSc1,2,3; Gwendoline Moreau, MSc1; Solène Monfermé, MD1; Audrey Cougnard-Grégoire, PhD1; Anne-Catherine Scherlen, PhD2; Angelo Arleo, PhD3; Jean-François Korobelnik, MD1,4; Cécile Delcourt, PhD1; Catherine Helmer, MD, PhD1 1 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Unité Mixte de Recherche 1219, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France 2 R&D Life and Vision Science, Essilor International, Paris, France 3 Sorbonne University, INSERM, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de la Vision, P aris, France 4Department of Ophthalmology, Bordeaux University Medical Center, Bordeaux, France JAMA Ophtalmology. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.4229 Virginie Naël, premier auteur de cette étude bénéficie d’une bourse doctorale Cifre financée par Essilor International pour mener ses travaux ; cette bourse permet de favoriser le développement de la recherche partenariale publique-privée, le laboratoire de recherche académique encadrant les travaux du doctorant. Catherine Scherlen, co-auteur de cette étude, est salariée d'Essilor International. Le recueil des données ophtalmologiques de la cohorte Alienor a été financé dans sa majorité par les laboratoires Théa.