Glaucoma causes loss of peripheral vision and is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. It primarily affects older adults, limiting their mobility and increasing their risk for falls. This thesis investigated the effects of visual field loss from glaucoma on gaze behaviour and mobility during two visually demanding walking tasks while multitasking; stepping to targets, and navigating around obstacles. Older adults with glaucoma had less precise foot placement, looked to the same target more often, and looked toward future targets sooner, compared to healthy older adults. Subjects with glaucoma also collided with obstacles more frequently, looked to obstacles more often, and looked more frequently toward their feet. Dual tasking also disrupted mobility and gaze during the walking tasks. For this population these findings provide the framework to design future walking and gaze training programs for people with glaucoma to improve their quality of life.
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Thesis advisor: Marigold, Daniel S.
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