Visual complaints in people with Parkinson’s disease were found to evolve with progressing disease characteristics and medication use. Photo: Getty Images.
Recent findings have not only demonstrated a high prevalence of visual complaints in people with Parkinson’s disease, but also have shown that these issues progress along with the disease and have a significant impact on daily life.
While there is increasing recognition of the impact visual complaints have on quality of life among individuals with Parkinson’s disease, these issues are often overlooked in clinical practice. Recognizing this, a recent study explored the prevalence of visual complaints in this patient population as well as the relationship between visual complaints and demographic and disease-related variables.
The study included people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (n = 581) and an age-matched control group without the condition (n = 583). Participants were screened for 19 visual complaints using the Screening Visual Complaints questionnaire.
Results showed that individuals with Parkinson’s disease experienced significantly more complaints when compared with the control group. They also reported a greater impact of visual complaints on their daily lives, according to the study authors.
More than 90% of people with Parkinson’s disease reported at least one complaint and 61.3% reported five or more complaints. The most common complaints included unclear vision (21.7%), difficulty reading (21.6%), trouble focusing (17.1%) and blinded by bright light (16.8%). The researchers found that the largest difference with controls were double vision, needing more time to see and having trouble with traffic participation due to visual complaints.
Additionally, the data revealed that age, disease duration, disease severity and the amount of medication treating the disease was related positively to the prevalence and severity of visual complaints among the study population.
“People with Parkinson’s disease experience a wide range of visual complaints, and these complaints seem to evolve with progressing disease characteristics and medication use,” the study authors noted in their recent PLoS One paper. “Since visual complaints can have a vast impact on the daily lives of people with Parkinson’s disease, standardized questioning is advised for timely recognition and treatment.”
van der Lijn I, de Haan GA, van der Feen FE, et al. Prevalence and nature of self-reported visual complaints in people with Parkinson’s disease—Outcome of the Screening Visual Complaints questionnaire. PLoS ONE. 2023;18(4):e0283122.