Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease

Nov. 13 --

THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Poor night vision might be a predictor of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a new study says.

More than 1,000 people with early signs of AMD were given a 10-item questionnaire asking them to rate their difficulties with night driving and low-light activities like reading or watching movies, then were followed annually for up to six years. Those with the worst night vision at the start were most likely to develop reduced visual acuity and one of two types of advanced AMD -- geographic atrophy (GA) or choroidal neovascularization (CNV).

AMD destroys the macula in the eye's retina, the area that normally provides detailed, central vision.

Study leader Gui-shuang Ying, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said the simple questionnaire could prove useful in identifying patients at high risk of vision loss and advanced AMD.

The study was published in the November issue of Ophthalmology.

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about age-related macular degeneration.

SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology, news release, Nov. 3, 2008