(RxWiki News) Anisometropia is an eye disorder in which a person has different vision in each eye. According to new research, seniors may be most at risk of developing this disorder.
A recent study found that the percentage of people with anisometropia doubled in a group of older adults over a 12-year period.
The authors of this study noted that since anisometropia appears to be more common in seniors and can lead to more falls if left untreated, physicians should be mindful of this condition in elderly patients.
"Have your eyes checked regularly."
This study was led by Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy, PhD, of the School of Optometry at the University of California Berkeley. This research team determined the number of older adults who developed anisometropia and also looked at factors related to this disorder.
Anisometropia is an eye disorder in which individuals have different refractive errors (vision problems) in each eye. For example, a person with anisometropia may be nearsighted in their right eye and farsighted in their left eye.
For this study, Dr. Haegerstrom-Portnoy and colleagues analyzed data from 118 older adults who were at least 55 years of age. Study participants were followed for a period of 12 years.
These researchers looked at four factors that are signs of anisometropia: equivalent sphere (refers to the average distance that the eye lens can see an image and the image is not distorted), spherical error (causes blurry vision) and primary and oblique astigmatism (types of astigmatism which causes blurry vision).
The researchers found that the percentage of people with anisometropia in this study population roughly doubled for each of the indicators they studied.
Anisometropia for equivalent sphere increased from about 16 percent to about 32 percent during the 12-year study period.
Anisometropia for spherical error increased from 17 percent to about 38 percent.
Primary astigmatism anisometropia increased from about 8 percent to about 18 percent. Finally, oblique astigmatism anisometropia increased from about 14 percent to about 30 percent.
The primary cause of anisometropia in this study was hyperopia (farsightedness).
The authors of this study noted that left untreated, anisometropia may contribute to falls among the elderly. They concluded that anisometropia is 10 times more common in older adults than it is in children.
This study was published on November 26 in Optometry and Vision Science.
This study was funded by a National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health Grant.
The authors reported no competing interests.