Ocular and visual disorders in Parkinson's disease: Common but frequently overlooked

Merel S. Ekker, Sabine Janssen*, Klaus Seppi, Werner Poewe, Nienke M. de Vries, Thomas Theelen, Jorik Nonnekes, Bastiaan R. Bloem

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    85 Citations (Scopus)


    Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often compensate for their motor deficits by guiding their movements visually. A wide range of ocular and visual disorders threatens the patients’ ability to benefit optimally from visual feedback. These disorders are common in patients with PD, yet they have received little attention in both research and clinical practice, leading to unnecessary – but possibly treatable – disability. Based on a literature search covering 50 years, we review the range of ocular and visual disorders in patients with PD, and classify these according to anatomical structures of the visual pathway. We discuss six common disorders in more detail: dry eyes; diplopia; glaucoma and glaucoma-like visual problems; impaired contrast and colour vision; visuospatial and visuoperceptual impairments; and visual hallucinations. In addition, we review the effects of PD-related pharmacological and surgical treatments on visual function, and we offer practical recommendations for clinical management. Greater awareness and early recognition of ocular and visual problems in PD might enable timely instalment of tailored treatments, leading to improved patient safety, greater independence, and better quality of life.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


    • Clinical management
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Visual disorders
    • n/a OA procedure

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