Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Oct;57(10):1833-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02436.x. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Older people contact more obstacles when wearing multifocal glasses and performing a secondary visual task.

Author information

1
Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether wearing multifocal glasses affects obstacle avoidance and eye and head movements during walking with and without a secondary visual task in older people.

DESIGN:

Randomized order, cross-over, controlled comparison.

SETTING:

Falls laboratory, medical research institute.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty community-living adults aged 65 and older.

MEASUREMENTS:

Obstacle contacts, secondary-task errors, average head angle (HA) in pitch, and peak-to-peak pitch amplitude of the eye (PA-E) and the head (PA-H) were assessed during obstacle-only and dual-task trials that required participants to read a series of letters presented in front of them at eye level under multifocal and single-lens glasses conditions.

RESULTS:

When wearing multifocal lens glasses, participants performed the obstacle-only trials more slowly (P=.004) and contacted more obstacles in the dual-task trials (P=.001) than when wearing single-lens glasses. For the dual task trials under the multifocal glasses condition, greater PA-E was associated with more obstacle contacts (rho=0.409, P=.02) and greater PA-H was associated with more secondary-task errors (rho=0.583 P=.002). Lower HA was associated with more secondary-task errors (rho=0.608, P=.002) and increased PA-H (rho=0.426, P=.02).

CONCLUSION:

The findings demonstrate that older adults contact more obstacles while walking with their attention divided when wearing multifocal glasses. This is probably because of a failure to adopt a compensatory increase in pitch head movement, resulting in blurred vision of obstacles viewed through the lower segments of multifocal glasses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center