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S.E. Brodie, J. Serle, D. Gagliuso, M. Fahim, R. Chanis, L. Polikoff, M. McDermott, J. Storm; Comparison of contrast sensitivity in normal children and adults . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):3509.
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Purpose: To compare static grating contrast sensitivity in cohorts of clinically normal children and adults Methods: Adults and children from the same households were recruited for visual function testing as part of the NYCity Perc Project, a study of possible effects on vision of residential exposure to the commercial dry–cleaning solvent perchloroethylene ("perc"). Residents of buildings containing dry–cleaning establishments using perc on the premises were recruited along with residents of similar control buildings in the same ZIP code districts. All subjects underwent a complete history and eye examination. Contrast sensitivity was measured with the optimal refractive correction in place, using the FACT grating contrast sensitivity eyechart, which determines contrast threshold in terms of nine equal steps of 0.15 log units , at each of 5 spatial frequencies. Results: We report here the contrast sensitivity findings in the control subjects only. 111 control subjects were able to satisfactorily complete contrast sensitivity testing: 60 ("children") from the age of 5 to15 (mean age 11) and 51 ("adults") from age 20 to 60 (mean age 44). Mean contrast threshold in children was 8.28 steps, compared with 7.58 steps in adults (p < 0.0001, 2–tailed t–test). Linear regression indicated a reduction of contrast sensitivity of 0.19 steps (0.029 log units) per decade ( r = 0.38; p < 0.0001). Our contrast thresholds for children were consistently better than the published norms for adults distributed with the FACT test (p < 0.01) at each spatial frequency. Re–analysis of the data to exclude those with known eye disease or confounding disabilty did not alter these findings. Conclusions: Contrast sensitivity in normal children appears slightly better than that in normal adults.
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