A team of researchers recently found that the prevalence of uncorrected refractive error was similar among participants with and without eye disease and highest among participants who were unable to attend an outpatient clinic.

This population-based, cross-sectional study evaluated 707 French patients who were at least 78 years old. The team analyzed factors associated with uncorrected refractive error, which it defined as improving the presenting distance visual acuity (VA) in the better-seeing eye by at least five letters, the study notes.

Prevalence of uncorrected refractive error was 38.8% among all participants, similar among those with eye disease (35% to 44.1% depending on the condition) and those without disease (30.1%). It was higher among patients examined at home (49.4%) compared with those examined at a clinic (33.5%). The authors note that undergoing eye examinations at home, living alone, having the perception that ophthalmologist consultation fees are too expensive and believing that declining VA is normal with aging were all associated with uncorrected refractive error.

The study concludes that “specific groups, including those with and without eye disease or unable to attend an outpatient clinic, could be targeted for preventive actions.”

Naël V, Moreau G, Monfermé S, et al. Prevalence and associated factors of uncorrected refractive error in older adults in a population-based study in France. JAMA Ophthalmol. September 20, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].