Impact of age related macular degeneration on quality of life

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Abstract

Aims:

To describe the impact of age related macular degeneration (AMD) on quality of life and explore the association with vision, health, and demographic variables.

Methods:

Adult participants diagnosed with AMD and with impaired vision (visual acuity <6/12) were assessed with the Impact of Vision Impairment (IVI) questionnaire. Participants rated the extent that vision restricted participation in activities affecting quality of life and completed the Short Form General Health Survey (SF-12) and a sociodemographic questionnaire.

Results:

The mean age of the 106 participants (66% female) was 83.6 years (range 64–98). One quarter had mild vision impairment, (VA<6/12–6/18) and 75% had moderate or severely impaired vision. Participants reported from at least “a little” concern on 23 of the 32 IVI items including reading, emotional health, mobility, and participation in relevant activities. Those with mild and moderate vision impairment were similarly affected but significantly different from those with severe vision loss (p<0.05). Distance vision was associated with IVI scores but not age, sex, or duration of vision loss.

Conclusion:

AMD affects many quality of life related activities and not just those related to reading. Referral to low vision care services should be considered for people with mild vision loss and worse.

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