Eccentric gaze direction in patients with central field loss
SourceOptometry and Vision Science, 88, 10, (2011), pp. 1164-71
Article / Letter to editor
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Optometry and Vision Science
SubjectNCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions IGMD 3: Genomic disorders and inherited multi-system disorders
PURPOSE.: This study describes the binocular eccentric gaze direction (EGD) of 434 patients with binocular central field loss and presents a comparison with other studies on eccentric gaze behavior. METHODS.: We reviewed the records of 434 patients with bilateral central scotomas. Eligible patients had not received eccentric viewing training and demonstrated a spontaneously developed eccentric gaze behavior. Data were collected on monocular and binocular EGD, visual acuity, and underlying ocular pathology. Findings concerning the EGD were compared with other studies that evaluated gaze behavior in patients with central field loss. RESULTS.: In the group of 434 patients, age-related macular disease was the most frequent pathology (77%). The majority of these patients demonstrated a binocular EGD (bEGD) to the right (50%). In 25% of the patients, a superior bEGD was found. Less often, a bEGD to the left (14%) and to inferior (11%) were encountered. Review of the literature indicates that the majority of patients developed a monocular EGD in the superior direction. CONCLUSIONS.: This is a study on bEGD behavior in a large population of patients with bilateral central scotomas. The bEGD was guided by the gaze of the better-seeing eye. The preference for a bEGD to the right differs from findings of previous studies. Review of the literature suggests that not only the ocular pathology but also the method of investigation is most likely to influence the observed EGD. Most studies evaluated the location of the preferred retinal locus using a monocular technique; this may not reflect an individual's actual binocular behavior as it relates to activities of daily living.
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