• 39th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference - March 18-22, 2024 at the Anaheim Marriott

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39th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Self-Reported Mobility Difficulties in Macular Degeneration

Date & Time
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 11:20 AM PDT  
Grand CD  

Macular degeneration (MD) is a common cause of irreversible vision loss, especially in older adults. However, MD is often not recognized as a contributor to mobility issues in clinical practice, and low vision rehabilitation rarely addresses mobility. Instead, mobility problems are typically attributed to aging by both patients and healthcare professionals.

In a study of 84 patients with varying degrees of vision loss (Mild, n=27, 4M, 80±9.9 y.o.; Moderate, n=42, 9M, 81.2±9.4 y.o .; Severe, n=15, 1M, 78±6.7 y.o), over half reported balance problems (55%). 30%, 33%, and 73% of patients in the mild, moderate, and severe groups, respectively, attributed their mobility issues to poor vision. Greatest specific mobility concerns included navigating dark environments, lighting transitions, and uneven surfaces. Based on these assessments, 22%, 31% and 60% of patients in the mild, moderate, and severe groups, were referred for O&M and/or physical therapy. Contrast sensitivity was a key predictor of mobility difficulties.

This study highlights the challenges faced by MD patients and stresses the need for recognition of mobility difficulties in this pathology by healthcare providers, researchers, and funding agencies to promote more comprehensive care.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of April 18, 2024, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Disability Specific
  • Government
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Research & Development
  • Transportation
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
This session highlights mobility challenges in patients with Macular Degeneration (irreversible visual impairment), emphasizing the need for awareness and recognition by patients, healthcare providers and researchers to enhance comprehensive care.  
Primary Topic
Blind/Low Vision  
Secondary Topics
Session Type
General Track  


  • Catherine Agathos
    The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

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