New research suggests that individuals with moderate to severe glaucoma were much more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. This study came from Jonathan Myers, MD, at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. While most patients reach the legal standard for driving, there are still many associated risks that are looked over. The new study followed over 160 patients for years, with ages ranging between 29 and 83 and found that over 11 percent having reported an automobile accident every year.
“These patients in general aren’t patients where I would have brought up the issue of driving with them,” Myers said. “It sensitized me to the fact that I need to counsel my patients that there’s greater risk earlier in the disease.” The effects on the peripheral vision from glaucoma is suspected to be one of the main causes of the accidents research suggests. This likely occurs when the driver fails to see other drivers in other lanes or possible crash factors, like deer or other animals, on the side of the road.