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Elise N Harb, Angelica Godinez, Shaili Davuluru, Jack Grimes, Dennis M Levi, Christine Frances Wildsoet; Changes in Choroidal Thickness Following Sustained VR Play. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):4340. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
That choroidal thickness may be visually modulated, even in humans, has attracted increasing attention in the context of eye growth regulation and myopia. Reports of choroidal thickness changes following sustained near work raised the question of whether near work within a head-mounted display could also affect such changes. This study compared the effects on choroidal thickness (ChT) of sustained virtual reality (VR) and traditional computer play (PC).
Young adult students (N=13, n=8 non-myopes) aged 18-24 years participated in a study involving two visits where the same gaming tasks were performed for two sustained (40 min) periods, on VR and PC platforms, randomized in order. At each visit, ChT was measured before and after play (EDI-OCT Cirrus, 9 mm line scan); values at several retinal positions (sub-foveal and 2250, 1500 and 750 mm nasal (N) and temporal (T) to the fovea) were extracted from images using an automated algorithm.
Regardless of refractive error status, 11 out of 13 subjects showed sub-foveal ChT thinning following PC play (mean -16.62 mm; range: +52 to -119.6 mm), however following VR play a relative reduced thinning or thickening of this region occurred for all but one subject (mean 6.09 mm thicker; range: +123.36 to -87.86 mm). Although ChT changes in the periphery were more variable, there was a trend for non-myopes to show relative thinning and myopes, thickening, at the N2250 location following VR compared to PC play (mean change: NM (-21 mm thinner), MY (10 mm thicker)).
The results of this small study suggest differences exist in the choroidal response to virtual reality compared to traditional computer play. Further work is warranted to explore the temporal profile of, and visual stimuli driving the changes, as well as the significance of refractive error, specifically for myopia onset and progression.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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