Prevalence of visual impairment in those with dementia generally higher than the overall population

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Research led by The College of Optometrists has found that prevalence of visual impairment (VI) in those with dementia is generally higher than for the overall population, highlighting the importance of sight tests in this group of people.

The College’s research also found that almost 50% of those living with dementia and VI were no longer classified as visually impaired when wearing their up-to-date spectacle prescription and that VI was approximately 2-2.5 times more common for those people with dementia living in care homes than for those living at home.

The research, entitled the Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia (PrOVIDe), was led by the College of Optometrists in collaboration with City, University of London, University of Birmingham, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, University of Newcastle, Trinity College Dublin and University College London and was funded and published by the National Institute for Health Research. The project also benefitted from in-kind support from The Outside Clinic.

The study aimed to measure the prevalence of a range of vision problems in people with dementia aged 60-89 years to determine the extent to which their vision conditions are undetected or inappropriately managed. One of the study’s key findings was that Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was the primary cause of VI in those with VA worse than 6/18.

To find out more about the study here.