Ocular and visual disorders in Parkinson's disease: Common but frequently overlooked

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2017 Jul:40:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.02.014. Epub 2017 Feb 21.


Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often compensate for their motor deficits by guiding their movements visually. A wide range of ocular and visual disorders threatens the patients' ability to benefit optimally from visual feedback. These disorders are common in patients with PD, yet they have received little attention in both research and clinical practice, leading to unnecessary - but possibly treatable - disability. Based on a literature search covering 50 years, we review the range of ocular and visual disorders in patients with PD, and classify these according to anatomical structures of the visual pathway. We discuss six common disorders in more detail: dry eyes; diplopia; glaucoma and glaucoma-like visual problems; impaired contrast and colour vision; visuospatial and visuoperceptual impairments; and visual hallucinations. In addition, we review the effects of PD-related pharmacological and surgical treatments on visual function, and we offer practical recommendations for clinical management. Greater awareness and early recognition of ocular and visual problems in PD might enable timely instalment of tailored treatments, leading to improved patient safety, greater independence, and better quality of life.

Keywords: Clinical management; Parkinson’s Disease; Visual disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*