14.01.2009

Elderly people "likely to stop driving if experiencing sight trouble"

Elderly people "likely to stop driving if experiencing sight trouble"

Drivers in the US who are older are more likely to be prompted to drive less or stop doing it altogether if they have trouble with their sight, according to new research.

Dr Lisa Keay of John Hopkins University in Baltimore published her team"s study in the journal Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science.

They monitored 1,202 drivers aged 67 to 87 over a year and found a link between particular visual and response capabilities and the likelihood that the person was still driving the same as before.

People experiencing difficulty with visual scanning and response tests were more likely to have stopped driving or to do it less.

In a statement, Dr Keay acknowledged the loss of independence caused by said it was "an important way to maintain the safety of older drivers and those who share the road".

Among eye ailments associated with ageing is glaucoma, a collective term for several conditions.

It occurs when pressure builds too much in the eye and damages the optic nerve.

by Martin Burns


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