Disability glare in the aging eye. Assessment and impact on driving

Thomas J.T.P. van den Berg, L. J. van Rijn, R. Kaper-Bongers, D. J. Vonhoff, H. J. Völker-Dieben, G. Grabner, C. Nischler, M. Emesz, H. Wilhelm, D. Gamer, A. Schuster, L. Franssen, G. C. de Wit, J. E. Coppens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To compare different methods for the assessment of disability glare sensitivity in the elderly, to arrive at an objective assessment of the condition of the eye. To delineate the importance of straylight values in vision. Methods: Three groups of subjects were studied: 1) Young subjects without any eye disease, 2) elderly subjects without any eye disease and 3) elderly subjects with (early) cataract in at least one eye. All subjects underwent 2 glare tests, 2 straylight tests, ETDRS visual acuity test, Pelli Robson contrast sensitivity test, refraction, LOCS III cataract classification. Straylight was quantified by means of the straylight parameter s. Results: Repeatability, discriminative ability, and added value as compared to visual acuity were low for the glare tests and good for the straylight measurements. For young normal subjects, with log(s)=0.9, the standard glare situation with low beams gives a contrast reduction of 1.3, whereas for the healthy 77 year olds this increases to 2. With cataract hardly affecting visual acuity, log(s) can be as high as 1.8, resulting in a contrast reduction of 3.4. Conclusion: Straylight measurement is of relevance for the assessment of the glare-related hindrance during driving, and can be used to objectify complaints and aid in the decision-making regarding cataract surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Optometry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Aging
  • CIE
  • Disability glare
  • Driving
  • Glare sensitivity
  • Straylight

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