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People with Hemianopia Report Difficulty with TV, Computer, Cinema Use, and Photography

Costela, Francisco M., PhD1,2*; Sheldon, Sarah S., BS1; Walker, Bethany1; Woods, Russell L., PhD1,2

Optometry and Vision Science: May 2018 - Volume 95 - Issue 5 - p 428–434
doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001215

SIGNIFICANCE Our survey found that participants with hemianopia report more difficulties watching video in various formats, including television (TV), on computers, and in a movie theater, compared with participants with normal vision (NV). These reported difficulties were not as marked as those reported by people with central vision loss.

PURPOSE The aim of this study was to survey the viewing experience (e.g., frequency, difficulty) of viewing video on TV, computers and portable visual display devices, and at the cinema of people with hemianopia and NV. This information may guide vision rehabilitation.

METHODS We administered a cross-sectional survey to investigate the viewing habits of people with hemianopia (n = 91) or NV (n = 192). The survey, consisting of 22 items, was administered either in person or in a telephone interview. Descriptive statistics are reported.

RESULTS There were five major differences between the hemianopia and NV groups. Many participants with hemianopia reported (1) at least “some” difficulty watching TV (39/82); (2) at least “some” difficulty watching video on a computer (16/62); (3) never attending the cinema (30/87); (4) at least some difficulty watching movies in the cinema (20/56), among those who did attend the cinema; and (5) never taking photographs (24/80). Some people with hemianopia reported methods that they used to help them watch video, including video playback and head turn.

CONCLUSIONS Although people with hemianopia report more difficulty with viewing video on TV and at the cinema, we are not aware of any rehabilitation methods specifically designed to assist people with hemianopia to watch video. The results of this survey may guide future vision rehabilitation.

1Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts

2Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts *

Supplemental Digital Content: The list of questions asked in our survey can be found in the Appendix, available at There were five questions related to TV viewing habits, two about portable devices, seven about computer use, two about the cinema, and six questions about photography.

Submitted: June 5, 2017

Accepted: March 7, 2018

Funding/Support: National Institutes of Health (R01EY019100; to RLW) and Core grant P30EY003790.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: No conflict of interest reported.

Author Contributions: Conceptualization: RLW; Data Curation: SSS, BW; Formal Analysis: FMC, SSS; Funding Acquisition: RLW; Investigation: FMC; Methodology: FMC, RLW; Software: FMC; Supervision: FMC, RLW; Validation: FMC, RLW; Visualization: FMC, RLW; Writing – Original Draft: FMC; Writing – Review & Editing: FMC, RLW.

Supplemental Digital Content: Direct URL links are provided within the text.

© 2018 American Academy of Optometry