• Adaptive gait changes in long-term wearers of contact lens monovision correction

      Chapman, Graham J.; Vale, Anna; Buckley, John G.; Scally, Andy J.; Elliott, David B. (2010)
      Introduction: The aim of the present study was to determine adaptive gait changes in long-term wearers of monovision correction contact lenses by comparing gait parameters when wearing monovision correction to those observed when wearing binocular distance correction contact lenses. Methods: Gait and toe clearance parameters were measured in eleven participants (53.5 ± 4.6 years, median monovision wearing time 5 years) as they repeatedly walked up to and onto a raised surface with either monovision or distance correction. Results: Compared to distance correction, monovision resulted in a large reduction in stereoacuity from 17¿ to 87¿, a slower walking velocity (p = 0.001), a reduced horizontal toe clearance of the step edge (p = 0.035) and, for trials when monovision correction occurred first, a 33% greater variability in vertical toe clearance (p = 0.021). Variability in some gait data was large due to certain study design features and learning effects. Conclusion: A slower walking velocity with monovision correction suggests participants became more cautious, likely as a result of the significantly reduced stereoacuity. The decreased horizontal toe clearance and increased vertical toe clearance variability suggests that monovision correction may cause a greater likelihood of hitting step edges and tripping during everyday gait. Recommended study design features are suggested for future adaptive gait studies to increase the precision of the data and to attempt to minimize the effects of learning from somatosensory feedback.
    • The effects of monocular refractive blur on gait parameters when negotiating a raised surface

      Vale, Anna; Scally, Andy J.; Buckley, John G.; Elliott, David B. (2008)
      Falls in the elderly are a major cause of mortality and morbidity. Elderly people with visual impairment have been found to be at increased risk of falling, with poor visual acuity in one eye causing greater risk than poor binocular visual acuity. The present study investigated whether monocular refractive blur, at a level typically used for monovision correction, would significantly reduce stereoacuity and consequently affect gait parameters when negotiating a raised surface. Fourteen healthy subjects (25.8 +/- 5.6 years) walked up to and on to a raised surface, under four visual conditions; binocular, +2DS blur over their non-dominant eye, +2DS blur over their dominant eye and with their dominant eye occluded. Analysis focussed on foot positioning and toe clearance parameters. Monocular blur had no effect on binocular acuity, but caused a small decline in binocular contrast sensitivity and a large decline in stereoacuity (p < 0.01). Vertical toe clearance increased under monocular blur or occlusion (p < 0.01) with a significantly greater increase under blur of the dominant eye compared with blur of the non-dominant eye (p < 0.01). Increase in toe clearance was facilitated by increasing maximum toe elevation (p < 0.01). Findings indicate that monocular blur at a level typically used for monovision correction significantly reduced stereoacuity and consequently the ability to accurately perceive the height and position of a raised surface placed within the travel path. These findings may help explain why elderly individuals with poor visual acuity in one eye have been found to have an increased risk of falling.