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Alex R. Bowers, Sarah S. Sheldon, Dawn K. DeCarlo, Eli Peli; Bioptic Telescope Use and Driving Patterns of Drivers with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2016;5(5):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.5.5.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the telescope use and driving patterns of bioptic drivers with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
A questionnaire addressing telescope use and driving patterns was administered by telephone interview to three groups of bioptic drivers: AMD (n = 31; median 76 years); non-AMD first licensed with a bioptic (n = 38; 53 years); and non-AMD first licensed without a bioptic (n = 47; 37 years). Driving patterns of bioptic AMD drivers were also compared with those of normal vision (NV) drivers (n = 36; 74 years) and nonbioptic AMD drivers (n = 34; 79 years).
Bioptic usage patterns of AMD drivers did not differ from those of the younger bioptic drivers and greater visual difficulty without the bioptic was strongly correlated with greater bioptic helpfulness. Bioptic AMD drivers were more likely to report avoidance of night driving than the age-similar NV drivers (P = 0.06). However, they reported less difficulty than the nonbioptic AMD drivers in all driving situations (P ≤ 0.02). Weekly mileages of bioptic AMD drivers were lower than those of the younger bioptic drivers (P < 0.001), but not the NV group (P = 0.54), and were higher than those of the nonbioptic AMD group (P < 0.001).
Our results suggest that bioptic telescopes met the visual demands of drivers with AMD and that those drivers had relatively unrestricted driving habits.
Licensure with a bioptic telescope may prolong driving of older adults with AMD; however, objective measures of bioptic use, driving performance, and safety are needed.
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