hello there. I am doing some research regarding an article that I am writing about drivers who are over 80 years of age. What I am looking for is some sort of statistic re: the percentage of citizens over 80 that are affected by either cataracts, or retinal problems, or macular degeneration. (or any other age related challenges that I'm unaware of..)Is the standard vision test (required in both Canada and the US after a driver reaches 80) really adequate in gauging the vision (& driving) cababilities of this age group??What do you think? You are experts in this field, and I would appreciate your input.thanks in advance, Elayne Burt , Toronto (416) (NNN) NNN-NNNN
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 52
this question doesn't apply to me, as I'm writing an article. Elayne Burt
Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Sounds like an excellent research topic and I can speak to the US data and testing if you would like.
I do not have at hand the data on types and amount of visual impairment in people over 80. All I would be able to do is search the internet and you can do this as easily as I can.
Would you like my opinion on vision testing as a way to gauge how well a person can drive?
Welcome to chat. Are you there?
Yes I am here. sorry, I thought you were an accredited "expert" and I wanted some sort of a proper answer to my specific query. Us figures are acceptable.
Do you need me to repeat the specific question, of do you still have acess to it?
I am a retina surgeon with two decades of practice experience.....and deal with drivers license issues/paperwork on an almost daily basis....
nope...I've got your question right here...
And what is your response to the question, please??
Vision testing at the DMV (dept of motor vehicles, where US drivers licenses are issued) is not the same as what I do in my office. Their testing is much cruder. They test best corrected vision in each eye separately as well as a gross evaluation of peripheral vision. The requirements vary somewhat from state to state but in my home state of Wisconsin is:
Vision of less than 20/40 in each eye or less than 70 degree field of vision may require:
Is this the same test that anyone is required to do? Or is there a different test applied to Drivers who are 80+
Are you there?
yes...sorry. My nurse stuck her head in the door for a moment....
I think that as far as the DMV vision test goes it does a good job of making sure that a person has good enough vision to safely drive a car.
So if a patient were renewing their license and they were 80 yrs old--or older, is it the same basic test that everyone is given at the DMV?
Where I think it doesn't go a good job is with people who have vision that tests worse on the DMV exam but yet have good enough vision to drive safely in a limited fashion, say around a local neighbrhood or not on freeways.
Yes. The same test is given to a 15 year old and an 80 year old by the DMV.
If so, how often to drivers get re-tested if they're in their 80's, 90's ,etc and is it mandatory for them to do so to have their license renewed?
When my patients fail the DMV test they can bring a form to me that I can fill out with my vision findings and statements as to if they can safely drive, within the parameters the government puts forward.
so after you've re-tested the patients, and found that their vision problems are limited, what are usually your recommendations re: them driving?
ie. Are there different scenarios of your recommendations? ie. night driving restricted (and what approx % fall into this category?)
or what are the other restrictions you might recommend ie. no highway driving (and what approx % fall into this category?
What would be any other recommendations you would make to your patients re: restricting their driving ie. Would you recommend that they can drive, but only within certain areas close to their homes? (what % of patients get this recommendation?) You can just ball park it for me.
Yes. Many of my patients have damaged or destroyed central vision so are "legally blind" but yet have very good side vision and with certain aids (monocular telescope) could drive in a limited capacity during the day. I can fill out a form to this effect and they can obtain a limited license. The downside? I have to fill out the form every year for them.
I would say that of the patients who bring me this form -- now remember, I am a retina specialist and see the bad cases a lot -- I would say that I can help 25 to 30% obtain a daytime limited, non freeway drivers license.
As you can imagine, they are very happy about this. It is a major loss to loose their mobility after everything else they have had to give up
In Canada, anyone 80 or over needs to do the 'written' drivers test each 2 years, regardless. this doesn't mean that they are being asked to do the actual 'driving road test'. How does it work in the States? Are people obligated to do just a written test every 2 years when they're over 80?
In my state there are no special requirements but in New Hampsire, where my Aunt lives I know she has to take a road test every time she renews... I think she is 78
I found a website that give these data for every US State:
OK, so it must vary everywhere. thanks for the info.
That is correct.
Is there anything else I can do to help you with this very interesting research project?
Also, do you know if macular degeneration is a major player in the 80+ age group?
Yes. It is a very major player.
I would say that over 755 of my patients in this age group have some degree of macular degeneration...
Do you feel that possibly in the future more and more elderly drivers will be hitting the roads? No pun intended.
Yes....they sure will...in more ways then one. In the USA the "baby boomers" are already elderly
Hey, I'm a boomer and I'm only 52, watch it!!
1960 was a very good year.....me too!
My mind still thinks I'm 24 thougth...
Sorry, I was born in 1959, haven't had my birthday yet... its in June.
You are old......
Ha! Just a frustrated writer trying to throw together some facts to put in my article on older drivers entitled "Maximum 80?"
I'm hoping to put a photo of one of our black/white road signs, which says "Maximum 80" on it.
shouldn't be hard to find one of those to take a picture of...
when you get your article written I'd love to read it if you could upload it to this thread...
the thread remains open even after you press that (very pretty and fun to push) accept button...
My Dad had a major stroke at 81, and obviously lost his driving privileges... SIGH. It was awful, and he had to learn to walk again by taking rehab for maybe 2 months. I think the loss of his license was really soo depressing for him-- there goes his freedom. But he is a smart guy, and does realize that he can't be on the road anymore, if he had another incident then it could harm innocent others... Still, it's very sad and his personality is not nearly as light hearted as it used to be-- he's actually still an avid armchair fan of the Maple leaf (a losing proposition) and the Toronto Blue Jays. At least he has that, the Jays were looking very, very strong in the pre-season, but now that the games count, they're not so hot...
Sorry to hear about your Dad. In my office I see the same difficulties almost every day....not from a stroke but from loss of retina function. I can completely understand how loosing the ability to legally drive can, sometimes, be the straw that breaks the camel's back.Maybe he could become a Packer's fan? US football can be a lot of fun if you pick the "correct" team to back....
Oops...was gonna cut/past the Packers advice on a new thread......
So, I realize that perhaps vision problems are the #1 culprit for people losing their licenses in the 80+ age group.. Still, other medical problems like my Dad with his stroke, and others with heart problems must make up the rest .
I actually always cheer for the packers.
That is correct. Of course, I deal only with the vision issues in my practice.
Toronto fans badly want a NFL franchise, but all of our hoping haven't made it happen so far...
We do have the CFL, which are a good bunch of guys (some of them, maybe 40% are real Canadians). The CFL are real troopers and prefer to play outdoors, often in our snowy winter weather.
I'm glad to see that your Father raised you right and that you are a Green Bay Packer fan. My family and I, while we are only number 60,000 on the waiting list for Season Tickets, to to go to a couple of games a year. It is about a X XXXX XXXXX for us.
Ya, the CFL looks like their fun to watch...
The cost of game tickets to see the CFL is getting higher, probably due to the fact that the stadiums (like our Skydome in Toronto) charge something like $10. for a a draft beer-- and I don't even like beer.
How come you don't put "eh?" at the end of your sentences? You must not, like about 40% of the CFL players, be a "real" Canadian, eh?
Watch it. I used to work in the hotel business and did tons of travelling. I find that Brits and Scots use the term, eh a lot more often than I do.
Ya...same thing at Lambeau Field....
I'm from Scarborough ( a burb of Toronto) and am proud that Mike Myers, John Candy and Jim Carrey all come from Scarborough.
They are very funny guys....
Most of the writing that I do is humour writing, and I'm hoping to launch this writing career of mine sometime soon.
Best of luck on that.....I hope quality writing doesn't die with the newspaper industry....
I had a project of mine, a pilot for a future TV show, selected as a finalist in the Banff TV Festival, maybe 5 years ago... It was good, but when I had to present it, or as they call it in the industry "pitch it" I had to do so in front of maybe 400 strangers, and I had 4 minutes to present my entire show idea. I kind of crashed and burned. Too much pressure.
That can happen.....chalk it up to a learning experience.
Is there anything else I can do for you today? I had two no shows but now my nurse says that a patient is dilated and ready for me.....she is SUCH a slave driver :-)
They say "do what you love, the money will come". Ha, I've been slaving away at my 'second' career, writing for almost 11 years. I ask you WHEN will the $$ come?
Those who have the gold make the rules....and keep the gold to themselves...
Is that a quote from Dr. Rick, or from someone else?
I don't think I can take credit for all of it, but feel free to quote me if you wish.
Don't want your patients to be sitting around over dilated... tee hee
Guess I'll sign off, but not sure I actually got the info that I needed for my article...
I have never, ever been asked to PAY for information, experts are usually thrilled to be quoted and WANT to help...
I gave the part I know about, if you want you may try asking on the internal medicine tread.
You don't have to pay if it is a hardship for you. It's been a pleasure chatting with a fellow packer fan.
And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)
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OK, well thanks XX. XXXX... feel free to keep in touch. I'll be rooting for those cheeseheads.
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.