Necessity of Periodic Ophthalmological Examinations in Binocular B Class Driving Licence Holders Over 50 Years of Age
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Objective: To determine whether binocular B class driving licence (BBCDL) holders over 50 years old are in compliance with the BBCDL criteria for visual acuity, to determine the age-based prevalence of ophthalmological disorders reducing visual acuity in this group, and to investigate whether periodic ophthalmological examinations are needed in licence holders over 50 years of age. Materials and Methods: This prospective study enrolled 451 adults over 50 years old having a BBCDL. The study subjects were categorized into 3 age groups as group 1 (51-60 years), group 2 (61-70 years), and group 3 (over 71 years). Results: The mean age of the subjects was 60.02 +/- 7.27 years; 338 (74.9%) were male and 113 (25.1%) were female. The BBCDL criteria were met by 353 (78.3%) subjects whereas 98 (21.7%) subjects did not meet them. Eighty-four (85.7%) of 98 patients not meeting BBCDL criteria still drove. The mean age of the subjects meeting BBCDL criteria (58.82 +/- 6.77 years) was significantly lower than the subjects not meeting them (64.34 +/- 7.40 years) (p<0.001). The most common pathologies in the individuals still driving despite not meeting BBCDL criteria were senile cataract (38.5%) and diabetic retinopathy (23.1%) in group 1, senile cataract (55.3%) and diabetic retinopathy (14.9%) in group 2, and senile cataract (63.6%) and senile macular degeneration+ senile cataract (18.2%) in group 3. Conclusion: More than a fifth of individuals over 50 years old did not meet the BBCDL criteria, due predominantly to senile cataract, and the majority of these individuals continue to drive. Therefore, we believe that individuals over 50 years old who have a BBCDL should undergo periodic ophthalmological examinations.