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Large Numbers of Older Adults Are Thought to Wear Unsuitable Glasses

Press release | 08 Nov 2018 - 10h43 | By INSERM PRESS OFFICE
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.

Press release – Inserm press room Large Numbers of Older Adults Are Thought to Wear Unsuitable Glasses Link :
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Catherine Helmer Inserm Researcher Unit 1219 BPH: Bordeaux Population Health Research Center Lifelong exposures, health and aging team- LEHA +33 (0)5 57 57 45 15

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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 CougnardGrégoire, 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 Ophthalmology. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.4229 Virginie Naël, first author of this study, received funding from Essilor International as part of the CIFRE scheme to conduct her doctoral research. This funding fosters the development of public-private partnership research, with the academic research laboratory supervising the doctoral work. Catherine Scherlen, co-author of this study, is an employee of Essilor International. The collection of ophthalmological data from the Alienor cohort was funded mostly by Théa Laboratories.

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