Caroline Ives & Sheldon Pearson, “Impact of Multifocal Lenses on Balance in Presbyopia Population Ages 40-70”
Mentor: Roger O. Smith, Occupational Science & Technology
MFL are preferred for their convenience in adjusting focal length during occupational tasks like cooking, however, research shows significant impairment to the lower visual fields. Lower visual field distortion is correlated with falls from improper foot placement and inability to detect trip hazards, but there is a gap in literature on how MFL effect balance. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is the gold standard for measuring balance due to its reliability and contribution to measuring and quantifying fall risks in various populations. BBS research has found strong correlations between multiple falls and BBS scores below 36, however scores of healthy adults have shown to vary with age. We hypothesize that as the aging population loses vestibular and proprioceptive function, they are likely to compensate using their vision. Our protocol measures balance with the BBS, “Timed Up and Go” (TUG) test, and three functional test protocols called Computerized Dynamic Postography (CDP) using the Betec Balance Advantage device. The Sensory Organization Test (SOT) examines how participants use vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive systems to control their balance. The Motor Control Test (MCT) measures participants’ ability to restore their balance after unexpected movement of force plates. The Adaptation Test assesses adaptability to surface irregularities. Our study protocol will provide an accurate method of interpreting results that will differentiate the dependence of vision and the ability to compensate in aging adults with varying BBS scores. We have piloted the protocol and await IRB approval for data collection.