To test the effectiveness of a bioptic form of a peripheral vision-enhancement lens in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), choroideremia, and Usher's syndrome Type II.
Fifteen patients with peripheral visual field loss were trained in the use of the amorphic lenses for driving and other everyday activities for a 3-month period. A cross-over study design was used, where one group of eight patients received training during the first 3 months of the 6-month study, and another group of seven patients received training during the second 3 months. All patients were administered a battery of clinical, psychophysical, functional, mobility, and driving assessment tests at the beginning of the study, at 3 months, and at 6 months. The assessment tests were coded according to the primary visual skill involved in the task. These visual skills included: recognition, peripheral detection, scanning, tracking, visual memory, and mobility.
After training, the patients showed improvement in all visual skills categories on the assessment tests, with overall improvement of 37%. There was no significant difference in the levels of improvement between the two groups. Those with smaller visual field extents showed significantly greater improvement on peripheral detection and scanning tasks. Those patients trained during the first 3 months of the study maintained their skills when tested at the 6-month point.
Patients with peripheral vision loss may benefit from a rehabilitation program which combines low vision training with amorphic lenses in a bioptic configuration.
© 1998 American Academy of Optometry