The Impact of Blurred Vision on Functioning and Well-Being

Published In: Ophthalmology, v. 104, no. 3, Mar. 1997, p. 390-396

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1997

by Paul Lee, Karen Spritzer, Ron D. Hays

This study examines the impact of blurred vision on functioning and well-being. It is based upon a cross-sectional analysis of Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) data and on the reports of over 1,600 respondents who were asked how often they experienced blurred vision not correctable by glasses or contact lenses, as well as other various symptoms. The major results were that the impact of blurred vision was unique. As a physical health problem causing role limitations, its impact was reported to be significantly greater than that of hypertension, history of heart attack, Type II diabetes mellitus, indigestion, trouble urinating, and headache. Blurred vision also had a significantly greater negative impact on energy than did Type I diabetes mellitus, on social functioning than did indigestion, and on physical functioning than did trouble urinating. The major conclusion of this study is that having blurred vision more than once or twice a month has a detectable and significant impact on functional status and well-being, especially in role limitations due to physical health problems. Attention needs to be given to dealing with blurred vision as efforts are made to improve role functioning and physical health functioning.

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