Glaucoma linked with car accidents
4 March 2011
People with glaucoma are 4 times more likely to have a car accident than the average Australian, an ophthalmologist is warning.
Dr Paul Healey, a glaucoma surgeon and lecturer at the University of Sydney, wants to raise awareness of the 'red flags' that could help identify patients who need to have their driving ability assessed professionally.
"Side vision loss, sensitivity to lights such as sunlight or headlight glare, blurred vision and an increase in near-miss crashes are all warning signals", he said.
Glaucoma Australia figures showed one-half of all Australians with glaucoma remained undiagnosed, due primarily to patients not having their eyes checked.
A Canadian study of driving performance showed people with glaucoma were 6 times more likely to have a driving instructor intervene during a driving test than people with normal vision, mainly due to slower reactions to, or difficulty detecting, peripheral obstacles and hazards (Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2008; 49: 3035-41).
Last Reviewed: 04 March 2011
- 1. Haymes SA, LeBlanc RP, Nicolela MT, et al. Glaucoma and on-road driving performance. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2008; 49: 3035-41. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1609. http://www.iovs.org/content/49/7/3035 (accessed Mar 2011).
2. Haymes SA, LeBlanc RP, Nicolela MT, et al. Risk of falls and motor vehicle collisions in glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2007; 48: 1149-55. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0886. http://www.iovs.org/content/48/3/1149 (accessed Mar 2011).
3. Hu PS, Trumble DA, Foley DJ, et al. Crash risks of older drivers: a panel data analysis. Accid Anal Prev 1998; 30: 569–81. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Accid+Anal+Prev+[Jour]+AND+569[page]+AND+1998[pdat]&cmd=detailssearch (accessed Mar 2011).
4. Owsley C, McGwin G Jr, Ball K. Vision impairment, eye disease, and injurious motor vehicle crashes in the elderly. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 1998; 5: 101–13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Ophthalmic+Epidemiol[Jour]+AND+101[page]+AND+1998[pdat]&cmd=detailssearch (accessed Mar 2011).
5. McGwin G Jr, Xie A, Mays A, et a. Visual field defects and the risk of motor vehicle collisions among patients with glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2005; 46: 4437–41. http://www.iovs.org/content/46/12/4437.long (accessed Mar 2011).