Purpose: To examine the public health impact of presbyopia regarding its effect on quality of life (QoL) and society in both the developed and developing worlds.
Methods: A database was created from articles found on PubMed, the Cochrane Library and Science Direct using the following search terms: presbyopia, QoL, accommodation, impact, cost, prevention, treatment and public health. Articles were accepted into the database if they addressed presbyopia and public health.
Results: This study showed in the developed world presbyopic subjects treated with reading glasses suffered a reduction in QoL parameters compared with those who were younger and emmetropic. A small minority of subjects were assessed to be a candidate for additional non-spectacle treatment measures. In undeveloped areas, the manifestations of presbyopia were similar to the developed world in symptoms, age and reduced QoL. However, there was inadequate treatment of this condition, even with reading glasses. The availability of reading glasses ranged from 6 to 45%. Activities of daily living could not be accomplished as easily without near correction of reading. Reasons described for the lack of correction included: lack of access to medical care, poor awareness of decreased near vision, lack of motivation and cost. Overall scant data exist regarding presbyopia and its impact and how treatment affects QoL.
Conclusions: This review suggests that the effect of presbyopia and its treatments on QoL remain poorly described and incompletely treated, especially in developing areas of the world.
Keywords: presbyopia; public health; quality of life; treatment.
© 2013 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.