The Consequences of Glaucoma on Mobility and Balance Control in the Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The aim of the study was to explore the functional impairments and related factors in older adults with moderate to advanced stages of glaucoma. Nineteen patients with glaucoma and 19 participants with no ocular disease performed step test and balance control tasks with analysis of overall stability index and fall risk index. Monocular and binocular Humphrey Visual Field tests were used to estimate visual field defect severity. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to measure physical activity level. Patients with glaucoma showed poorer values for most of the mobility and balance control parameters with medium and large effect sizes (0.3–0.5). Mobility scores in patients were partly associated with their monocular visual field defect (rs = .507, p < .05). Low physical activity was identified as a risk factor for falls (rs = −.453, p < .05) and postural instability (rs = −.457, p < .05). Functional declines in dynamic tasks were not related to glaucoma severity. Older adults with glaucoma display impairment with mobility and balance control compared to controls, associated with the degree of monocular visual field loss and lower daily physical activity.

Zwierko, Jedziniak, and Florkiewicz are with Laboratory of Kinesiology in Functional and Structural Human Research Centre, Institute of Physical Culture Sciences, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland. Ceylan is with the Department of Physical Education and Sports, Kazim Karabekir Faculty of Education, Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey. Lesiakowski is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland. Śliwiak, Kirkiewicz, and Lubiski are with the Second Department of Ophthalmology, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.

Zwierko (teresa.zwierko@usz.edu.pl) is corresponding author.
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