• Adaptive gait changes due to spectacle magnification and dioptric blur in older people

      Elliott, David B.; Chapman, Graham J. (2010-02)
      Purpose. A recent study suggested that updated spectacles could increase falls rate in older people. We hypothesized that this may be due to changes in spectacle magnification and this study assessed the effects of spectacle magnification on adaptive gait. Methods. Adaptive gait and visual function was measured in 10 older adults (mean age 77.1 ¿ 4.3 years) with the participants¿ optimal refractive correction and when blurred with +1.00DS, +2.00DS, -1.00DS and -2.00DS lenses. Adaptive gait measurements for the lead and trail foot included foot position before the step, toe clearance of the step edge and foot position on the step. Vision measurements included visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and stereoacuity. Results. The blur lenses led to equal decrements in visual acuity and stereoacuity for the +1.00DS and -1.00DS and the +2.00DS and -2.00DS lenses. However, they had very different effects on adaptive gait compared to the optimal correction: Positive blur lenses led to an increased distance of the feet from the step, increased vertical toe clearance and reduced distance of the lead heel position on the step. Negative lenses led to the opposite of these changes. Conclusion. The adaptive gait changes did not mirror the effects of blur on vision, but were driven by the magnification changes of the lenses. Steps appear closer and larger with positive lenses and further away and smaller with negative ones. Magnification likely explains the mobility problems some older adults have with updated spectacles and after cataract surgery.
    • Gait Alterations Negotiating A Raised Surface Induced by Monocular Blur

      Vale, Anna; Buckley, John G.; Elliott, David B. (2008-12-01)
      Falls in the elderly are a major cause of serious injury and mortality. Impaired and absent stereopsis may be a significant risk factor for falls or hip fracture, although data from epidemiological studies are not consistent. Previous laboratory based studies, however, do suggest that stereoacuity is an important factor in adaptive gait. The present study investigates how acute impairment of stereopsis, through monocular blur of differing levels, ranging from 0.50 diopter (D) to a monovision correction affected gait when negotiating a raised surface in elderly subjects. Eleven elderly subjects (73.3 3.6 years) walked up to and negotiated a raised surface under nine visual conditions, binocular vision, one eye occluded and 0.50 D, 1.00 D and monovision correction (mean 2.50 D 0.20 D) with blur and occlusion either over the dominant or non-dominant eye. Analysis focused on foot positioning and toe clearance parameters. There was no effect of ocular dominance on any parameters. Monocular blur impaired stereopsis (p 0.01), with more minor effects on high and low contrast acuity. Vertical and horizontal lead limb toe clearance both increased under all levels of monocular blur including the lowest level of 0.50 DBlur (p 0.03) and monovision correction led to toe clearance levels similar to that found with occlusion of one eye. Findings demonstrated that even small amounts of monocular blur can lead to a change in gait when negotiating a raised surface, suggesting acute monocular blur affected the ability to accurately judge the height of a step in the travel path. Further work is required to investigate if similar adaptations are used by patients with chronic monocular blur.