Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Glaucoma-related vision loss may increase risk for auto accidents

12.11.2012
Study results show need for mandatory visual field testing for drivers

The first study to compare accident rates for drivers who have advanced glaucoma − an eye disease that affects peripheral vision − with normal-vision drivers, found that the glaucoma group had about twice as many accidents.

This study, which was conducted in Japan using a driving simulator, suggests that potential drivers should pass a visual field test to ensure adequate peripheral vision before a license is granted or renewed. The research is being presented today at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, jointly conducted this year with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.

Glaucoma, which is an age-related eye disease, can partially or severely restrict a person's peripheral vision, without damaging their central vision or visual acuity. (Click here to see how glaucoma can affect vision.) This means that many people who have the disease would be able to pass the only vision test now required for a driver's license in most countries, known as the visual acuity test. Drivers need good peripheral vision in order to assess and keep up with the flow of traffic, stay in the proper lane, and detect stop lights, pedestrians, vehicles and other obstacles.

In this study, which was conducted at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, in Sendai, Japan, two groups of 36 people each were tested using a driving simulator. People in group one had advanced glaucoma and those in group two had normal vision. The groups were matched for age, driving experience and other characteristics. The most common accident scenario for both the glaucoma and normal-vision groups was when a child, car, or other object suddenly entered the driver's path from the side. The glaucoma group, however, had more than twice as many collisions as the normal-vision group.

Glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million Americans age 40 and older. It is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. If untreated, glaucoma reduces peripheral vision and eventually causes blindness by damaging the optic nerve. This essential nerve sends signals from the retina — a layer of light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye — to the brain, where these signals are interpreted as the images people see. Only half of the people who have glaucoma are aware of it , since the disease is painless and vision loss is very gradual.

As populations grow older worldwide, health officials are exploring measures that will ensure safety on the roads. For instance, in the United States., visual field requirements vary from state to state with 12 of the 51 jurisdictions restricting licenses for those with visual impairments. Some states or territories require the installation of additional mirrors on the vehicles of these drivers.

"To help ensure everyone's safety on our roadways, we would like to create mandatory vision testing guidelines for glaucoma patients," said Shiho Kunimatsu-Sanuki, M.D., lead researcher on the study. "We now know that integrating the visual field test into the requirements for a driver's license could save lives."

With proper medical care, many people with glaucoma can maintain a level of vision that would enable safe driving. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that everyone have a complete eye exam at age 40, so that glaucoma and other age-related eye diseases can be diagnosed and treated early to minimize vision loss.

The 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is in session November 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago. It is the world's largest, most comprehensive ophthalmic education conference. More than 25,000 attendees and 500 companies gather each year to showcase the latest in ophthalmic education, research, clinical developments, technology, products and services. This year's meeting is being held in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. To learn more about the place Where All of Ophthalmology Meets, visit http://www.aao.org/meetings/annual_meeting/

Note to media: Contact Media Relations to request full text of the study and arrange interviews with experts

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s— with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.

Mary Wade | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aao.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>