Studies have shown that nursing home residents in the United States and other industrialized countries have rates of vision problems that are 3 to 15 times higher than community-dwelling older adults. About one-third of these vision problems can be attributed to improperly prescribed glasses.
Dr. Cynthia Owsley of the University of Alabama wondered if improving vision in nursing home residents would improve quality of life. She and her colleagues enrolled about 150 nursing home participants with vision problems that could be significantly improved by providing new glasses.
She randomly assigned half of the subjects to an experimental group that received new glasses while the rest were assigned to a no-contact control group. At the 2 month follow-up, the participants in the experimental group had significantly better scores than the control group on a range of measures including quality of life, social interaction, and reading. They also had fewer depressive symptoms. The authors concluded that many nursing home residents can benefit from the most basic of eye care services. We know from other research that improving visual processing using InSight and DriveSharp also helps protect quality of life measures. An obvious next step is to combine best visual correction with improved visual processing to further enhance improvements in quality of life.
The article about Dr. Owsley’s study is available from the Archives of Ophthalmology: http://archopht.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/125/11/1471