Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 340
Attentional asymmetry between visual hemifields is related to habitual direction of reading and its implications for debate on cause and effects of dyslexia
A major controversy regarding dyslexia is whether any of the many visual and phonological deficits found to be correlated with reading difficulty cause the impairment or result from the reduced amount of reading done by dyslexics. We studied this question by comparing a visual capacity in the left and right visual hemifields in people habitually reading scripts written right-to-left or left-to-right. Selective visual attention is necessary for efficient visual search and also for the sequential recognition of letters in words. Because such attentional allocation during reading depends on the direction in which one is reading, asymmetries in search efficiency may reflect biases arising from the habitual direction of reading. We studied this by examining search performance in three cohorts: (a) left-to-right readers who read English fluently; (b) right-to-left readers fluent in reading Farsi but not any left-to-right script; and (c) bilingual readers fluent in English and in Farsi, Arabic, or Hebrew. Left-to-right readers showed better search performance in the right hemifield and right-to-left readers in the left hemifield, but bilingual readers showed no such asymmetries. Thus, reading experience biases search performance in the direction of reading, which has implications for the cause and effect relationships between reading and cognitive functions.
The effect of blue-light blocking spectacle lenses on visual performance, macular health and the sleep-wake cycle: asystematic review of the literature
PURPOSE: Blue-blocking (BB) spectacle lenses, which attenuate short-wavelength light, are being marketed to alleviate eyestrain and discomfort when using digital devices, improve sleep quality and potentially confer protection from retinal phototoxicity. The aim of this review was to investigate the relative benefits and potential harms of these lenses. METHODS: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), recruiting adults from the general population, which investigated the effect of BB spectacle lenses on visual performance, symptoms of eyestrain or eye fatigue, changes to macular integrity and subjective sleep quality. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and clinical trial registers, until 30 April 2017. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane tool. RESULTS: Three studies (with 136 participants) met our inclusion criteria; these had limitations in study design and/or implementation. One study compared the effect of BB lenses with clear lenses on contrast sensitivity (CS) and colour vision (CV) using a pseudo-RCT crossover design; there was no observed difference between lens types (log CS; Mean Difference (MD) = -0.01 [-0.03, 0.01], CV total error score on 100-hue; MD = 1.30 [-7.84, 10.44]). Another study measured critical fusion frequency (CFF), as a proxy for eye fatigue, on wearers of low and high BB lenses, pre- and post- a two-hour computer task. There was no observed difference between low BB and standard lens groups, but there was a less negative change in CFF between the high and low BB groups (MD = 1.81 [0.57, 3.05]). Both studies compared eyestrain symptoms with Likert scales. There was no evidence of inter-group differences for either low BB (MD = 0.00 [-0.22, 0.22]) or high BB lenses (MD = -0.05 [-0.31, 0.21]), nor evidence of a difference in the proportion of participants showing an improvement in symptoms of eyestrain or eye fatigue. One study reported a small improvement in sleep quality in people with self-reported insomnia after wearing high compared to low-BB lenses (MD = 0.80 [0.17, 1.43]) using a 10-point Likert scale. A study involving normal participants found no observed difference in sleep quality. We found no studies investigating effects on macular structure or function. CONCLUSIONS: We find a lack of high quality evidence to support using BB spectacle lenses for the general population to improve visual performance or sleep quality, alleviate eye fatigue or conserve macular health.
Optical coherence tomography predicts 4-year incident diabetic neuropathy
PURPOSE: To examine the capability of optical coherence tomography-derived retinal thickness measures in detecting 4-year incident diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). METHODS: 145 eyes of 145 participants with diabetes but no DPN at baseline were examined for incident DPN. HbA1c levels, nephropathy, neuropathy (DPN), cardiovascular measures, and various retinal thickness measures were examined at baseline and after 4 years. Incidence of DPN was defined as newly developed DPN at follow-up. Baseline factors were assessed by univariate and a step-wise multiple logistic regression, and the predictors were examined for diagnostic capabilities. RESULTS: Of the 145 participants without DPN at baseline, 51 had developed DPN when examined after 4 years (35% incidence). Of the ophthalmic variables, the mean (S.D.) of the overall thickness in the parafovea at baseline was 315 (18) μm in the no DPN group and 306 (18) μm in the 'incidence' group, and the differences were significant, p = 0.005. The superior hemisphere parafovea (mean (S.D.): 318 (17) μm vs 310 (20) μm, p = 0.02) and inferior hemisphere parafovea (313 (19) μm vs 302 (18) μm, p = 0.002) were different in the incident DPN group compared with the no DPN group. When adjusted for age, retinal thickness in the parafovea (AUC = 0.65, p = 0.003, 86% sensitivity and 44% specificity at 321 μm criterion), and body mass index or BMI (AUC = 0.65, p = 0.003, 49% sensitivity and 83% specificity at 29.3 kg m-2 criterion) at baseline were significant predictors for 4-year incident DPN. CONCLUSIONS: A lower retinal thickness at the parafovea and a higher BMI can predict 4-year incident neuropathy in patients with diabetes, with acceptable diagnostic accuracies. This OCT-derived measure may serve as a potential ophthalmic marker in the screening of patients at risk of developing DPN.
Omega-3 supplementation is neuroprotective to corneal nerves in dry eye disease: a pilot study
PURPOSE: To investigate whether oral, long-chain omega-3 (ω-3) essential fatty acid (EFA) supplementation, for 3 months, induces changes to the central corneal sub-basal nerve plexus in dry eye disease and whether nerve alterations correlate with clinical findings. METHODS: This prospective, comparative study involved the final 12 participants enrolled in a randomised, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 60 participants with moderate dry eye disease. Participants received either placebo (olive oil 1500 mg/day; n = 4) or ω-3 EFA supplements (~1000 mg/day eicosapentaenoic acid + ~500 mg/day docosahexaenoic acid; n = 8) for 90 days. The main outcome measure was the mean change in central corneal sub-basal plexus nerve parameters between days one and 90, quantified using in vivo confocal microscopy. Secondary outcomes included mean change in tear osmolarity, corneal dendritic cell density and basal epithelial cell density. RESULTS: Compared with baseline, the reduction in OSDI score and tear osmolarity at day 90 were greater in the ω-3 EFA group than the placebo group (OSDI: ω-3 EFA, mean ± SEM: -15.6 ± 2.8 vs placebo: -2.8 ± 4.1 units, t5 = 2.6, p = 0.04; tearosmolarity: ω-3 EFA: -22.63 ± 5.7 vs placebo: -8 ± 2.7 mOsmol/L, t9 = 2.3, p = 0.04). At day 90, corneal total nerve branch density (CTBD: 91.1 ± 8.6 vs 45.1 ± 13.4 branches/mm2 , F1,10 = 14, p = 0.004) and corneal nerve branch density on the main fibre (CNBD: 63.4 ± 6.5 vs 27.9 ± 11.5 branches/mm2 , F1,10 = 6, p = 0.03) were higher in the ω-3 EFA group compared with placebo. Relative to day 1, CNBD (branches/mm2 ) increased at day 90 in the ω-3 EFA group (+20.0 ± 9.2, t8 = 3.2 p = 0.01) compared with placebo (-10.8 ± 3.2). Similar changes were evident for corneal nerve fibre length (CNFL, mm/mm2 ), which increased from baseline at day 90 in the omega-3 EFA group (+2.9 ± 1.6, t8 = 3.4 p = 0.01) compared with placebo (-2.7 ± 0.5). There was a negative correlation between CTBD and tear osmolarity (r10 = -0.70, p = 0.01). No significant changes were observed for basal epithelial cell or corneal dendritic cell density. CONCLUSION: These pilot study findings suggest that ω-3 EFA supplementation imparts neuroprotective effects in the corneal sub-basal plexus that correlate with the extent of tear osmolarity normalisation.
A comparison of the self-reported dry eye practices of New Zealand optometrists and ophthalmologists
PURPOSE: The aim of this cross-sectional survey was to evaluate the self-reported clinical practices of New Zealand optometrists and ophthalmologists with respect to the diagnosis and management of dry eye disease. It also sought to compare these behaviours with the current research evidence base. METHODS: An anonymous survey was distributed electronically to New Zealand eye care clinicians (optometrists n = 614, ophthalmologists n = 113) to determine practitioner interest in dry eye disease, practice experience, practice modality, preferred diagnostic and management strategies, and information used to guide patient care. RESULTS: Respondents from both professions (response rates, optometrists: 26%, ophthalmologists: 26%) demonstrated similarly strong knowledge of tear film assessment. Ninety percent of respondents ranked patient symptoms and meibomian gland evaluation as the most valuable and common diagnostic approaches. Conversely, standardised grading scales and validated dry eye questionnaires were infrequently adopted. Both professions tailored dry eye management according to severity, indicating eyelid hygiene and non-preserved lubricants as mainstay therapies. Ophthalmologists prescribed systemic tetracyclines significantly more often than optometrists for moderate (48% vs 11%) and severe (72% vs 32%) dry eye (p < 0.05). Continuing education conferences were acknowledged as the primary information source used to guide dry eye management practices by both professions. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with evidence-based guidelines, New Zealand eye care professionals combine subjective and objective techniques to diagnose and stratify dry eye management according to disease severity. There is potential to improve dissemination of research evidence into clinical practice, with continuing education via professional conferences the favoured mode of delivery.
What do patients think about the role of optometrists in providing advice about smoking and nutrition?
PURPOSE: Tobacco smoking and nutrition are key lifestyle factors with long-term effects on eye health. However, little is known about patients' perceptions and experiences in these areas in relation to the care received from optometrists. The main aim was to survey patients' perceptions and prior experience regarding the role of optometrists in enquiring and providing advice about tobacco smoking and nutrition. METHODS: An anonymous, paper-based survey was distributed to a convenience sample of 225 adults attending the University of Melbourne eye care clinic. Respondents provided demographic and other information (age, sex, length of time since last eye examination, country of most recent eye examination, smoking status and intake of nutritional supplements) and indicated their level of agreement (using a five-step Likert scale) with a series of statements relating to the care provided by optometrists in the areas of health, smoking and nutrition. The statements were designed to assess the perceived scope of practice of optometrists and the extent to which patients expect, and feel comfortable, discussing these issues with their optometrist. RESULTS: 220 completed surveys were returned. Most respondents (>80%) agreed that they visit their optometrist to quantify their refractive error and to examine their eye health. About two-thirds of respondents indicated that they expect their optometrist to ask about their general health, with almost half expecting their optometrist to communicate with their general medical practitioner. Approximately one-third of respondents indicated having been routinely questioned about their smoking status, diet and nutritional supplement intake by their optometrist. This was despite about half expecting their optometrist to question them about these factors and almost three out of four respondents indicating that they felt comfortable talking with their optometrist about these lifestyle behaviours. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides novel insight into patients' perceptions and experience with optometric practice in the areas of tobacco smoking and nutrition. The majority of respondents expected their optometrist to examine their eye health, ask them about their smoking and diet habits, and indicated feeling comfortable discussing these topics with their primary eye care provider. These findings suggest that brief advice interventions relating to tobacco use and diet are likely to be acceptable to deliver in optometry practice.
Temporal changes in contact lens comfort over a day of wear
PURPOSE: Contact lens discomfort continues to be reported as the primary reason for soft lens discontinuation, regardless of new modalities and materials. The purpose of this analysis of comfort related data from a series of clinical studies was to review whether there was a difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic habitual lens wearers' comfort responses over the course of the day. METHODS: Data from five independent non-dispensing clinical studies were pooled and analysed. Participants in these studies were assigned to one of two groups depending on whether they were classified as symptomatic or asymptomatic contact lens wearers according to a modified Subjective Evaluation of Symptoms of Dryness (SESOD) questionnaire. Masked participants were randomised to wear either a hydrogel or a silicone hydrogel contact lens and their ocular comfort was rated using a visual analogue scale on insertion and 2-hourly during an 8-hour period of a single lens wearing day. RESULTS: Data from 103 participants were used, 58 in the symptomatic group and 45 in the asymptomatic group as determined by the SESOD questionnaire. There was no effect of lens material on comfort (p = 0.43). However, there was a significant interaction between symptoms and time. The difference in mean comfort between the symptomatic and asymptomatic group was significant at each time point (p < 0.05). However, comfort did not vary significantly over the day for the asymptomatic group (p = 0.87), whereas, there was a significant decline in mean comfort ratings for the symptomatic group from 84.6 ± 13.2 (S.D.) at insertion to 73.0 ± 18.5 at 8 hours (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In our study, changes in contact lens comfort over a day were independent of lens material but not symptoms. Symptomatic lens wearers reported a progressive decrease in comfort, whereas asymptomatic wearers did not. Therefore, asymptomatic wearers should not be used when measuring contact lens comfort in clinical studies. The exclusion of asymptomatic lens wearers would likely increase the sensitivity of comfort ratings as a measure in contact lens research.
Reversal of functional loss in a rat model of chronic intraocular pressure elevation
PURPOSE: This pilot study considered whether intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering could reverse ganglion cell dysfunction in a rat model of chronic ocular hypertension. METHODS: A circumlimbal suture was applied in one eye to induce ocular hypertension (n = 7) in Long-Evans rats. The contralateral eye served as an untreated control. After 8 weeks of IOP elevation the suture was removed to lower IOP for the remaining 7 weeks. Electroretinogram (ERG) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were measured at baseline, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 15 weeks. Retinae were collected for histology at week 15. RESULTS: In sutured eyes, IOP was elevated by 7-11 mmHg above control eyes (12 ± 0.2 mmHg [standard error of the mean]). Eight weeks of chronic IOP elevation resulted in a reduction of the ganglion cell mediated positive Scotopic Threshold Response (pSTR, -25 ± 7% of baseline), as well as smaller photoreceptor (-7 ± 4%) and bipolar cell mediated responses (-6 ± 5%). After suture removal, IOP recovered to normal. By 15 weeks the a-wave (0 ± 6%), b-wave (-2 ± 6%) and pSTR had recovered back to baseline (from -25 ± 7% to -4 ± 6%). The retinal nerve fiber layer was thinned by -9 ± 3% at week 8 and showed no further decline at week 15 (-10 ± 2%). Cell numbers in the ganglion cell layer were similar between suture removal and control eyes at week 15 (3543 ± 478 vs 4057 ± 476 cells mm-2 ). CONCLUSIONS: The circumlimbal suture model might be a useful platform to study the reversibility of neuronal dysfunction from chronic IOP challenge.
A Case of Mistaken Identity: CD11c-eYFP(+) Cells in the Normal Mouse Brain Parenchyma and Neural Retina Display the Phenotype of Microglia, Not Dendritic Cells
Under steady-state conditions the central nervous system (CNS) is traditionally thought to be devoid of antigen presenting cells; however, putative dendritic cells (DCs) expressing enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (eYFP) are present in the retina and brain parenchyma of CD11c-eYFP mice. We previously showed that these mice carry the Crb1(rd8) mutation, which causes retinal dystrophic lesions; therefore we hypothesized that the presence of CD11c-eYFP(+) cells within the CNS may be due to pathology associated with the Crb1(rd8) mutation. We generated CD11c-eYFP Crb1(wt/wt) mice and compared the distribution and immunophenotype of CD11c-eYFP(+) cells in CD11c-eYFP mice with and without the Crb1(rd8) mutation. The number and distribution of CD11c-eYFP(+) cells in the CNS was similar between CD11c-eYFP Crb1(wt/wt) and CD11c-eYFP Crb1(rd8/rd8) mice. CD11c-eYFP(+) cells were distributed throughout the inner retina, and clustered in brain regions that receive input from the external environment or lack a blood-brain barrier. CD11c-eYFP(+) cells within the retina and cerebral cortex of CD11c-eYFP Crb1(wt/wt) mice expressed CD11b, F4/80, CD115 and Iba-1, but not DC or antigen presentation markers, whereas CD11c-eYFP(+) cells within the choroid plexus and pia mater expressed CD11c, I-A/I-E, CD80, CD86, CD103, DEC205, CD8α and CD135. The immunophenotype of CD11c-eYFP(+) cells and microglia within the CNS was similar between CD11c-eYFP Crb1(wt/wt) and CD11c-eYFP Crb1(rd8/rd8) mice; however, CD11c and I-A/I-E expression was significantly increased in CD11c-eYFP Crb1(rd8/rd8) mice. This study demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of CNS CD11c-eYFP(+) cells do not display the phenotype of DCs or their precursors and are most likely a subpopulation of microglia. GLIA 2016. GLIA 2016;64:1331-1349.