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Luuk Franssen, Joris E. Coppens, Thomas J. T. P. van den Berg; Compensation Comparison Method for Assessment of Retinal Straylight. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(2):768-776. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0690.
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purpose. Presently, no instrument or method exists that is generally accepted for routine clinical assessment of (functional) retinal straylight. Yet retinal straylight is the cause of major patient complaints, such as hindrance from glare and loss of contrast. It results from disturbances in the optical media that increase light–scattering over angles of 1° to 90°. Its assessment would help to decide whether to perform surgery for (early) cataract and would help in the evaluation of corneal or vitreal turbidity.
methods. The psychophysical technique of the “direct compensation” method was adapted to make it suitable for routine clinical assessment. In the new approach, called “compensation comparison, ” the central test field is subdivided into two half fields: one with and one without counterphase compensation light. The subject’s task is a forced-choice comparison between the two half fields, to decide which half flickers more strongly. A theoretical form for the respective psychometric function was defined and experimentally verified in a laboratory experiment involving seven subjects, with and without artificially increased light scattering. The method was applied in a separate multicenter study. Its reliability was additionally tested with a commercial implement (C-Quant; Oculus Optikgeräte, Wetzlar-Dutenhofen, Germany).
results. A repeated-measures SD of 0.07 log units was achieved, to be compared with differences in the young normal population of 0.4 log units and an increase with healthy aging by 0.5 log units at 80 years and by 1.0 or more log units with (early) cataract or corneal disturbances. Reliability was further found to be high when using the commercial version of the method.
conclusions. The compensation comparison method for measuring retinal straylight is suited for clinical use to diagnose patients with complaints caused by large angle light scattering in the eye such as early cataract.
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