Low Vision Seniors Are Self-Limiting Their Driving

A new cross-sectional study has concluded that most patients with AMD-related central vision loss continue to drive, but that they demonstrate significant driving restrictions, especially with more severe visual acuity and contrast sensitivity loss.

To determine if central visual loss is associated with driving cessation, driving restriction, or other-driver preference, researchers compared two groups of senior adults. 64 subjects had vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and 58 subjects were normally sighted. Subjects with AMD who were still driving reported a greater number of driving restrictions than control subjects, and they had a greater preference for having other people drive. Drivers with AMD-related vision loss were more likely to avoid driving over longer distances, beyond 1 hour, at night, and in unfamiliar conditions. Subjects who had stopped driving had developed significantly worse vision in the better-seeing eye compared with those who continued to drive.

It is encouraging that most people with low vision are evidently imposing their own restrictions on driving. This is useful information to have when discussing this sometimes contentious issue with people who are facing the possibility of limiting driving or giving up their car keys altogether.

Source: Driving Habits in Older Patients with Central Vision Loss.

Sabyasachi Sengupta, DNB, FRCS, Suzanne W. van Landingham, MD, Sharon D. Solomon, MD, Diana V. Do, MD, David S. Friedman, MD, PhD, Pradeep Y. Ramulu, MD, PhD (Ophthalmology. Published online December 2, 2013)
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