What is intermediate vision? How does this affect the daily life of the elderly? – CVBJ


01/02/2022 at 6:15 PM CET

We tend to hear our elders talk about good or bad that they see “up close” or “far away”, but very little of theirs. “Intermediate vision”, despite the fact that, according to experts, they use it more and more every day.

In fact, the importance of this type of vision has been particularly evident since the onset of the pandemic, when more time has been devoted to use all kinds of screens, cook or use private transport.

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In fact, experts already call it “functional vision” because of its preponderant role in the autonomy and quality of life of the elderly.

This is reflected in the survey “Vision and Daily Activities of Elderly Spaniards”, developed by the Chair of Value Generation and Vision Health at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

According to her, 36.9% of daily activities carried out by those over 60 are already carried out in “intermediate vision”: activities so necessary for personal autonomy such as washing, eating or driving.

For this analysis, the findings of which were presented to the Congress of the Ophthalmological Society of Madrid, 35 daily activities were previously identified that people over 60 typically perform in a normal week, with the aim of analyze the use that this segment of the population makes of the different types of vision: close (less than 40 cm), intermediate (between 40 and 90 cm) and distant (more than 90 cm).

Among the 36.9% of activities for which “intermediate vision” is required, there are essential daily tasks such as using cutlery, cooking, washing while looking in the rearview mirror, using the computer or looking at the mirrors. of the car. auto.

These are activities that, overall, more respondents say they do every week, up to 68.2% of them.

On the other hand, 64.8% of the participants in the survey state that they periodically practice activities for which near vision is necessary, associated, for the most part, with leisure activities, such as reading books or newspapers or practicing leisure activities. .

Finally, 56.8% say they exercise activities involving the use of their vision from afar, mainly related to the outdoors, such as reading advertisements or signs in the street or practicing outdoor activities or soft sports. .

The great value of functional vision

According to the doctor Alfonso Arias, director of the Value Generation and Visual Health Chair at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, professor of ophthalmology in this same center and president of the Ophthalmological Society of Madrid, “results such as those of the survey make us talk about the ophthalmologists about the functional vision to designate the intermediate vision, since it is what allows the functionality to the elderly, that is to say the personal autonomy for the development of their daily life.

The doctor Angel Gil, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at Rey Juan Carlos University, also comments that “there are many homes in which older people live alone and vision difficulties can contribute to their dependency. When there is a loss of autonomy, it is usually associated with isolation, staying home and not doing certain tasks. This reduces the quality of life and, in turn, produces significant psychological damage“.

Main activities that the intermediate vision allows to achieve

Of the 10 activities that emerge from the survey as the most frequent in the population over 60, six are carried out in functional or intermediate vision. “The use of this has increased even during the coronavirus pandemic, due to certain habits associated with it, such as the increasing use of tablets and computers or the greater time that the elderly have spent and are spending. at home, with consequent activities such as cooking more, ”explains Dr Arias.

Among the activities most practiced by the elderly and the type of vision they should use, the following stand out:

Check the mobile: close-up view Check the clock; near vision Looking in the rearview mirror of the car: intermediate vision Watching television: far vision Using cutlery to eat or separating food: intermediate Seeing obstacles such as stairs, sidewalks or stones: far Using the computer office: intermediate vision Cooking: intermediate Using a laptop: intermediate Cutting, chopping or cleaning food: intermediate viewing

“For this reason, intermediate vision care has a direct impact on the well-being of older people. For example, a strong relationship has been observed between visual problems, home activities and the frequency of falls and fractures, ”concludes Dr Gil.

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