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Simone Tzaridis, Philipp Herrmann, Peter Charbel Issa, Simona Degli Esposti, Siegfried K Wagner, Marcus Fruttiger, Catherine Egan, Gary Rubin, Frank G. Holz, Tjebo F. C. Heeren; Binocular Inhibition of Reading in Macular Telangiectasia Type 2. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(12):3835-3841. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-26414.
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To assess the presence of binocular gain in macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel) and its correlation to paracentral scotomas.
Sixty-eight patients with MacTel were consecutively recruited for a cross-sectional analysis. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), reading acuity, and reading speed were tested monocularly and binocularly. Macular retinal sensitivity was examined with fundus-controlled perimetry (microperimetry). Scotomas were quantified by their size, their depth, and their proximity to the fovea.
Binocular reading speed and acuity were lower than monocular reading speed and acuity in the functionally better eye (142 vs. 159 words per minute and 0.43 vs. 0.28 log reading acuity determination, P < 0.001). Magnitude of binocular inhibition of reading speed was correlated to the degree of interocular functional difference (R2 = 0.61, P < 0.001). This correlation was not found for reading acuity or BCVA (R2 < 0.03). Binocular reading speed was negatively correlated to size of right and left eye scotomas, with bigger effect size for left eye scotomas. The magnitude of binocular inhibition was correlated to size of left eye scotomas, but not of right eye scotomas. When both eyes had similar scotoma characteristics, the right eye was more frequently the better reading eye.
We provide evidence for the presence of binocular inhibition of reading performance in MacTel, likely due to binocular rivalry. This may result from the characteristic paracentral scotomas in noncorresponding retinal fields and, in particular, a disruptive projection of scotomas in reading direction arising from the left eyes. Patients may benefit from occluding one eye while reading.
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