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AGING AND VISION

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Aging and Human Visual Function Robert Sekuler, Donald Kline, and Key Dismukes, Editors 1982 The result of a symposium sponsored by the Committee on Vision March 31-April 1, 1980, in Washington, D.C., Aging and Human Usual Function is intended to review what is currently known about visual changes that occur with age and to examine the effects of these changes on an individual's well-being. This interdisciplinary study also explores the gaps in knowledge to better delineate the need for research in both basic and applied aspects of age-related alterations in visual functions. Five themes are examined: anatomical and physiological alterations, changes in basic visual functions, changes in perception and information processing, methodological issues, and the human impact of visual changes with age. Major topics include the difficulty of distinguishing between normal aging and what traditionally has been considered pathology and the effects of aging on sensory processes. Other topics investigated are how aging affects the retina and how retinal aging can affect visual functions; the effects of aging on basic visual functions such as color perception, visual acuity, accommodation, and contrast sensitivity; and a review of low-vision sentence to increase the independence and improve the self-concept of the aging person. 350 pp. 87 figures 13 tables 713 references Availability: Volume 2, Modern Aging Research Series. New York: Alan R. Liss, Inc., 1982. 3

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Aging and Visual Functions of Military Pilots: A Review Robert Sekuler, Donald Kline, and Key Dismukes, Editors 1982 This report reviews what is known about the effects of age on visual function and discusses the implications of age-related changes in vision for the flying performance of military pilots. Most visual functions decline to some degree with age, and the rate of decline has been roughly charac- terized in the general population. There is, however, virtually no data on military pilots, and extrapolation from the general population requires cau- tion. Individual variation in the effects of age is great, and military pilots are a select group presumably in better general health than the general population. Several visual functions that decline with age seem particularly relevant to pilot performance: contrast sensitivity, dynamic acuity, recovery from glare, function under low illumination, and information processing. Vision examinations currently given to military and commercial pilots do not measure these visual functions. The feasibility of supplementing exist- ing vision examinations with measurements of these functions needs to be explored. Research is needed on several major problems in this area. It is not possible at present to characterize well the effect of changes in visual function on the performance of complex tasks such as flying. This report suggests several specific measures that might help characterize the effects of changes in visual function on pilot performance. Data on changes in visual functions with age should be collected from military pilots, preferably with multivariate, longitudinally designed studies. Research is suggested to assess the extent to which experienced pilots may compensate for declining visual functions and to determine how such compensation is achieved. The report suggests studies of the interaction of age with other factors, such as cardiovascular changes, that may affect performance, especially under stress. 11 pp. no figures no tables 83 references Availability: Av~on, Space, and Environmental Medicine Vol. 53, No. 8, pp. 747-7S8, 1982. 4

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Work, Aging, and Vision: Report of a Conference 1987 At the request of the Veterans Administration and the National Insti- tute on Aging, the Committee on Vision established the Working Group on Aging Workers and Visual Impairment. The working group was asked to examine the issue of keeping older workers in the work force longer, given the many changes that occur in vision with age. In order to accomplish this task, the working group organized a two-day conference around sessions focusing on individual and interactive elements of work, aging, and vision. Members of the first panel were asked to describe what happens to the eye with age. The second panel considered the availability of information on the incidence and prevalence of visual impairment with age, the role of health status in leaving the work force, and demographic changes in the U.S. work force. The third panel explored the effects of visual changes on job skills. The fourth panel addressed issues (such as screening practices) related to keeping older Americans in the work force longer. This report is based on discussion and papers presented at this confer- ence and has been organized into three parts. The first part is a discussion of the problem of maintaining older workers in the labor force given the changes that occur in vision with age. The second is a description of some of the solutions proposed by conferees. The final section explores some of the factors involved in bringing about such changes. Into appendices provide additional information: Appendix A contains a list of conference participants and the detailed program. Appendix B contains an annotated bibliography on work, aging, and vision. A summary of this work was also released as a pamphlet (see Eyes on the Works ce). 67 pp. no figures 2 tables 49 references Availability: Publication on Demand, National Academy Press, 2101 Con- stitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418. 5

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Eyes on the Workplace Ron Cowen 1988 The Working Group on Aging Workers and Visual Impairment was asked to examine the issue of keeping workers in the labor force longer, given the many changes that occur with age. In order to accomplish its task, the working group organized an invi- tational conference to review the several dimensions of work, aging, and vision. Four panels were formed to explore various aspects of work, aging, and vision, including relationships between visual changes with age and changes in behavior; the role of health status in leaving the work force; the effects of changes in vision on job skills; screening practices; the availability of visual prosthetics; and economic incentives and disincentives for keeping older workers employed. This illustrated pamphlet is based on the proceedings of the conference and working group discussions, Work Aging, and Mmon, supplemented by additional research materials. It is intended for use by workers and employers. 44 pp. no figures no tables 13 additional readings Availability: National Technical Information Service ~IS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Spnngfield, VA 22161. 6