Rapid eye movements are significantly delayed in patients with glaucoma, results of a study published in Eye and Brain show.
The findings may shed light on why glaucoma patients are at an increased risk of falls and car accidents.
The researchers used head-mounted devices to measure saccadic (rapid) eye movements of individuals with and without glaucoma. They found that people with early, moderate or advanced glaucoma had significantly delayed rapid eye movements compared with individuals without the condition.
Lead study author and ophthalmologist, Neeru Gupta, said: “Now that we know that eye movement reaction times are delayed in people with glaucoma there is an opportunity to understand the effects of glaucoma on daily activities of living that most of us take for granted, such as walking up and down stairs, driving, navigating and reading.
“Further studies are needed to determine pathological processes implicated in delayed initiation of saccades, and to assess whether alterations of saccades affects daily activities in glaucoma patients.”