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N. Nguyen, M. Weismann, S. Trauzettel-Klosinski; Reading Ability Before and After Administration of Low-Vision Aids in Patients With Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5529.
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of legal blindness, including loss of reading ability among elderly persons in the developed countries. The aim of the present study was to evaluate magnification requirement and reading ability before and after administration of appropriate low-vision aids.
484 patients with different stages of AMD (age: 82±8 yrs.) were included in this retrospective study. After careful adaptation of low-vision aids according to the magnification requirement, reading speed was evaluated using standardised reading texts. Reading speed was calculated as number of words per minute (wpm) according to the formula [(words/reading time[s])*60].
The mean magnification requirement was 7.4±6.3-fold. Optical low-vision aids such as high plus reading additions and magnifiers were necessary in 44% of patients, whereas 42% of patients needed closed-circuit TV systems. Hyperocular and telescope were adapted in 14% of patients. Before adaptation of low-vision aids, reading speed could not achieve in 71% of patients. Mean reading speed [wpm] was 20±33 before and increased significantly to 72±35 (p<0.0001) after administration of low vision aids. With appropriate low-vision aid, patients increased their reading speed in average by 53±19 wpm. Patients with a lower magnification requirement (less than 10-fold) showed a higher increase of reading speed (59±31 wpm) than patients with high magnification requirement (40±18 wpm) (p<0.0001). Reading ability was satisfying in all patients after administration of low-vision aid. There is a significant correlation of magnification need and reading speed with visual aids (r=-0.65, p<0.0001).
Our results confirm the importance and efficiency of visual rehabilitation with low vision aids. All patients benefited greatly from the rehabilitation measures in optimizing reading ability and therefore qualify of life. In face of the increasing number of elderly patients with AMD, rehabilitation should start as early as possible.Support: Herbert-Funke Stiftung
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