Within the age range studied, differences between eyes could begin to occur anytime, with no particular preference for any one age. In a few patients, anisometropia actually decreased during the study.
Highlighting Need for Proper Correction in Both Eyes
Previous studies, based on cross-sectional (one-time) measurements, have suggested that the rate of anisometropia increases exponentially with aging. However, these studies provide no information on how the visual mismatch develops over time, or the specific refractive error components involved.
Dr Haegerstrom-Portnoy and coauthors cite previous studies showing that the prevalence of anisometropia in children is only two to four percent. They write, "Whatever the cause of the increase in anisometropia with aging, the fact that significant anisometropia is at least ten times more common in those over 75 years of age than in children needs to be clearly emphasized to clinicians."
Anthony Adams, OD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science, comments: "For older people a lack of correction of this prescription difference between the eyes may contribute to the increased frequency of falls that, in turn, can have a severe impact on health and even life expectancy." Under current American Academy of Optometry guidelines, people over age 65 are considered a high-risk group, for whom visual examination and screening are recommended at least every two years.
Dr Adams raises special concern over the frequent use of "over-the-counter drugstore reading glasses" by older adults. He adds, "These 'dime store readers' are made to be generic, with identical focusing or magnification power in each eyecertainly not an ideal solution for at least 30 percent of the over-age-75 population who have differing visual requirements between eyes."
|Contact: Connie Hughes|
Wolters Kluwer Health