Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss among older adults in the United States, is often associated with psychological stress. A simple stress rating scale (the Perceived Stress Scale) is a valid and useful way to evaluate the connection between stress and progressive vision loss from AMD, reported Bradley E. Dougherty, OD, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
Patients with vision loss in AMD experience high rates of stress, anxiety, and other problems, including depression. Less is known about the relationship between the stress that AMD patients experience and the severity of their disease — for example, whether stress can cause AMD to worsen or not.
The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is a well-established stress rating scale that can predict objective biological markers of stress, as well as the risk of stress-related diseases. In previous studies, the PSS has been shown to be predictive of general markers of inflammation, including C-reactive proteins. In the new study, Dr. Dougherty and colleagues extend the use of this survey to determine how well it measures perceived stress in patients with vision loss due to AMD.
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