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Exp Gerontol. 1986;21(4-5):423-33.

Age related changes in visual acuity.


Longitudinal visual acuity assessments of men, and cross-sectional assessments of men and women in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging are presented. The longitudinal data relate presenting far, uncorrected far, presenting near and uncorrected near visual acuities to age. The cross-sectional data relate presenting far acuity to age. The prevalence of cataract, glaucoma and retinal pathologies are reported for the longitudinal sample at the time of their last vision test. The effect of visual pathologies in general, and cataract in particular, upon presenting far visual acuity was examined. The longitudinal data are consistent with cross-sectional data from previously published reports. Older persons who were free from specific visual pathologies exhibited an age-related decline in presenting far acuity as did those with documented visual pathologies. Despite the demonstrated loss in acuity with age, the majority of persons maintain at least fair acuity (20/40 or better) into their 80's.

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