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Arthur Fernandes, Nivea Nunes Cavascan; The effects of amblyopia on children’s reading performance after patching treatment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):4122. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Amblyopia is a decrease in visual acuity (VA) resulting from abnormal visual development in early childhood. The usual treatment to stimulate the amblyopic eye is the placement of a patch over the fellow eye for a period/day. Multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of patching in achieving the normal VA in both eyes, however, little is known about the previously amblyopic eye’s functionality. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of amblyopia on children’s reading performance after the treatment reaching 20/20 VA in both eyes.
The study group included 10 children selected from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences from Federal University of Sao Paulo with amblyopia diagnosed on the first visit with VA = 20/20 (0.0logMAR) in the better vision eye and VA ≤ 20/40 (0.3logMAR) in the worse eye, patching treatment of amblyopia, and final VA = 20/20 in both eyes sustained in the last 6 months visits. The control group comprised 10 children matched by age with no visual disorders sampled from a nearby school. Reading performance was evaluated according to the reading acuity (RA, logMAR), critical print size (CPS, logMAR), reading speed (RS, words per minute, wpm) at 0.7logMAR, and maximum reading speed (MRS, wpm) using the MNREAD-P chart.
Of the twenty recruited participants, 10 were in the study group (50% females; mean age: 9.41±0.89 years old) and 10 in the control group (60% females; mean age: 9.44±0.32 years old). Binocular reading performance was compared between groups and no statistical significant differences were found on RA (p=0.68) or CPS (p=0.61). Group 1 had lower RS (mean difference of 71 wpm, p=0.01) and lower MRS (mean difference of 57 wpm, p=0.04) when compared to Group 2. Analyzing the monocular reading performance in the Group 1, a statistical significant difference on RA was found when comparing the treated (mean: 0.09±0.17; median: 0.06log MAR) and the fellow (mean: -0.03±0.09; median: -0.05 logMAR) eyes (p=0.01). No differences were found for CPS, RS or MRS.
A decreased reading performance in patients previously amblyopic was found in this study, even when 20/20 VA in both eyes was reached after the patching treatment. These findings may open a discussion regarding the importance of stimulation during the treatment and the usage of reading performance when evaluating the visual function development in amblyopic patients.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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