Supervised interns from Pacific University College of Optometry performed standard visual screenings of three separate nursing homes. Residents were evaluated in six major areas: significant history both systemic and ocular, far and near acuity, cover test, refractive status, ophthalmoscopy and tonometry. This information was compared to non-nursing home seniors. A total of 252 subjects were assessed. The incidence of visual impairments was considerably higher for the nursing home population, with nearly 50% of this group more likely to fail the screening. This study suggests that many of the nursing home residents have greater visual potential, but are currently not receiving the care necessary to achieve it. Meeting this potential could significantly reduce their need for supervision and increase their quality of life.
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