September 1989
Volume 30, Issue 9
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Articles  |   September 1989
Evidence for a neural basis of age-related visual field loss in normal observers.
Author Affiliations
  • C A Johnson
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis 95616.
  • A J Adams
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis 95616.
  • R A Lewis
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis 95616.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 1989, Vol.30, 2056-2064. doi:
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      C A Johnson, A J Adams, R A Lewis; Evidence for a neural basis of age-related visual field loss in normal observers.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(9):2056-2064.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Many studies have reported a decrease in visual field sensitivity as a function of increasing age in normal individuals. This age-related sensitivity loss has mainly been attributed to reductions in pupil size and transmission losses of the ocular media (particularly the lens), although neural losses in the retina, optic nerve and visual cortex have also been suggested. We evaluated the role of preretinal factors on normal visual field changes associated with aging. The central visual field of both eyes of 62 normal subjects (ages 20 to 72) were evaluated with Program 30-2 of a modified Humphrey Field Analyzer. Three test procedures were employed: (1) a standard visual field evaluation; (2) a yellow target on a yellow background condition (530 nm cutoff filter) to minimize the influence of lens transmission losses with age; and (3) a large target/high background luminance "yellow on yellow" test condition (530 nm cutoff filter, 635 asb background, Size V target) to minimize both pupil size and lens effects on central visual field sensitivity. In addition, relative lens absorption estimates were obtained for each subject. All three test conditions revealed a loss in visual field sensitivity with increasing age (approximately 0.8 dB per decade) but no meaningful differences were found among the three test procedures. Relative lens density increased with age but was not related to visual field sensitivity for any of the three test conditions. These data suggest that normal age-related visual field sensitivity changes are primarily due to neural losses rather than preretinal factors.

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