Perceived Visual Distortions in Juvenile Amblyopes During/Following Routine Amblyopia Treatment
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
PURPOSE. To establish the point prevalence of perceived visual distortions (PVDs) in amblyopic children; the association between severity of PVDs and clinical parameters of amblyopia; and the relationship between PVDs and amblyopia treatment outcomes. METHODS. Perceived visual distortions were measured using a 16-point dichoptic alignment paradigm in 148 visually normal children (aged, 9.18 6 2.51 years), and 82 amblyopic children (aged, 6.33 6 1.48 years) receiving or following amblyopia
... ing amblyopia treatment. Global distortion (GD; vector sum of mean-centered individual alignment error between physical and perceived target location) and Global uncertainty (GU; SD of GD over two experiment runs) were compared to age-matched control data, and correlated against clinical parameters of amblyopia (type, monocular visual acuity, pretreatment interocular acuity difference, refractive error, age at diagnosis, motor fusion, stereopsis, near angle of deviation) and amblyopia treatment outcomes (refractive adaption duration, treatment duration, occlusion dosage, posttreatment interocular acuity difference, number of lines improvement). RESULTS. Point prevalence of PVDs in amblyopes was 56.1%. Strabismic amblyopes experienced more severe distortions than anisometropic or microtropic amblyopes (GD Kruskal Wallis H ¼ 16.89, P < 0.001; GU Kruskal Wallis H ¼ 15.31, P < 0.001). Perceived visual distortions severity moderately correlated with the strength of binocular function, (e.g., log stereoacuity [GD rho ¼ 0.419, P < 0.001; GU rho ¼ 0.384, P < 0.001)], and strongly with near angle of deviation (GD rho ¼ 0.578, P < 0.001; GU rho ¼ 0.384, P < 0.001). There was no relationship between severity of PVDs and amblyopia treatment outcomes, or the amblyopic visual acuity deficit. Perceived visual distortions persisted in more than one-half of treated amblyopic cases whose treatment was deemed successful. CONCLUSIONS. Perceived visual distortions are common symptoms of amblyopia and are correlated with binocular (stereoacuity, angle of deviation), but not monocular (visual acuity) clinical outcomes. This adds to evidence demonstrating the role of decorrelated binocular single vision in many aspects of amblyopia, and emphasizes the importance of restoring and improving binocular single vision in amblyopic individuals.