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Foroogh Shamsi, Rong Liu, MiYoung Kwon; Binocularly Asymmetric Crowding in Glaucoma and a Lack of Binocular Summation in Crowding. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(1):36. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.1.36.
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Glaucoma is associated with progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells. Here we investigated the impact of glaucomatous damage on monocular and binocular crowding in parafoveal vision. We also examined the binocular summation of crowding to see if crowding is alleviated under binocular viewing.
The study design included 40 individuals with glaucoma and 24 age-similar normal cohorts. For each subject, the magnitude of crowding was determined by the extent of crowding zone. Crowding zone measurements were made binocularly in parafoveal vision (i.e., at 2° and 4° retinal eccentricities) visual field. For a subgroup of glaucoma subjects (n = 17), crowding zone was also measured monocularly for each eye.
Our results showed that, compared with normal cohorts, individuals with glaucoma exhibited significantly larger crowding—enlargement of crowding zone (an increase by 21%; P < 0.01). Moreover, we also observed a lack of binocular summation (i.e., a binocular ratio of 1): binocular crowding was determined by the better eye. Hence, our results did not provide evidence supporting binocular summation of crowding in glaucomatous vision.
Our findings show that crowding is exacerbated in parafoveal vision in glaucoma and binocularly asymmetric glaucoma seems to induce binocularly asymmetric crowding. Furthermore, the lack of binocular summation for crowding observed in glaucomatous vision combined with the lack of binocular summation reported in a previous study on normal healthy vision support the view that crowding may start in the early stages of visual processing, at least before the process of binocular integration takes place.
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