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ME McClure, PM Hart, AJ Jackson, MR Stevenson, U Chakravarthy; Patient based ratings of Low Vision Aid (LVA) use in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3820.
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Purpose: This study aimed to determine the frequency of use of LVAs in a cohort of subjects with AMD and examine the relationship between self reported visual functioning and use of LVAs for specific daily living tasks. Methods: The Daily Living Tasks dependent on Vision (DLTV) was administered to 177 subjects with AMD who also underwent a full visual function assessment (distance and near acuity, reading speed and contrast sensitivity in each eye). Five items ask subjects to rate the level of difficulty experienced for specific near vision tasks. Subjects are asked to rate the frequency of LVA use (always, frequently, sometimes and never) and the level of difficulty for the same group of near tasks when using a LVA. The responses are totalled to give a visual functioning score on a range 0 to 100 for each set of 5 items. Results: 78 subjects were current LVA users. 49% used LVAs sometimes, 38% frequently and 13% always. In LVA users, mean distance visual acuity (DVA) was 0.6 logMAR in the better seeing eye and the mean visual functioning score was 47.7 +/-32.5 (SD) when not using a LVA. The mean score improved significantly when using a LVA to 59.2 +/- 31.2 (SD) (paired t test p = 0.000). The remaining 99 non users of LVAs had a mean DVA of 0.3 logMAR in the better seeing eye and a visual functioning score of 66.8 +/- 36.3 (SD). The use of a LVA was reported to improve ability to perform specific daily living tasks, as measured by the visual functioning score, in 64.1% of LVA users for the item "reading newspapers" and 47.4% of LVA users for the item "reading correspondence". Conclusion: In older people who have bilateral sight loss from AMD, self reported visual functioning for specific near vision tasks is significantly improved by the use of a LVA.
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