Document Detail

Effect of Ambient Light and Macular Degeneration on Precision Walking.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24987813     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
PURPOSE: To determine how age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and changes in ambient light affect the control of foot placement while walking.
METHODS: Ten older adults with AMD and 11 normal-sighted controls performed a precision walking task under normal (∼600 lx), dim (∼0.7 lx), and after a sudden reduction (∼600 to 0.7 lx) of light. The precision walking task involved subjects walking and stepping to the center of a series of irregularly spaced, low-contrast targets. Habitual visual acuity and contrast sensitivity and visual field function were also assessed.
RESULTS: There were no differences between groups when performing the walking task in normal light (p > 0.05). In reduced lighting, older adults with AMD were less accurate and more variable when stepping across the targets compared to controls (p < 0.05). A sudden reduction of light proved the most challenging for this population. In the AMD group, contrast sensitivity and visual acuity were not significantly correlated with walking performance. Visual field thresholds in the AMD group were only associated with greater foot placement error and variability in the dim light walking condition (r = -0.69 to -0.87, p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: While walking performance is similar between groups in normal light, poor ambient lighting results in decreased foot placement accuracy in older adults with AMD. Improper foot placement while walking can lead to a fall and possible injury. Thus, to improve the mobility of those with AMD, strategies to enhance the environment in reduced lighting situations are necessary.
M Scott Alexander; Kim Lajoie; David R Neima; Robert A Strath; Stephen N Robinovitch; Daniel S Marigold
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-7-1
Journal Detail:
Title:  Optometry and vision science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1538-9235     ISO Abbreviation:  Optom Vis Sci     Publication Date:  2014 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-7-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8904931     Medline TA:  Optom Vis Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
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