Impact of symptomatic vitreous degeneration on photopic and mesopic contrast thresholds

Emmanuel Ankamah, Marina Green-Gomez, Warren Roche, Eugene Ng, Ulrich Welge-Lüβen, Thomas Kaercher, John Barbur, John M. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clinical relevance: Contrast thresholds under photopic and mesopic luminance conditions are compromised in subjects with vitreous degeneration. A plausible explanation is needed for the visual discomfort expressed by patients suffering from symptomatic vitreous degeneration. Background: The current study investigates the effect of symptomatic vitreous degeneration on photopic and mesopic contrast at high spatial frequencies. Methods: An age-matched sample of 115 subjects, comprising 30 subjects with symptomatic vitreous floaters (cases) and 85 healthy subjects (controls), was included in this study. Visual acuity and flicker thresholds were measured for all participants. Photopic and mesopic functional contrast thresholds at 10 cycles per degree were measured for all participants to assess the effect of floaters on contrast. Further, to determine the effect of posterior vitreous detachment on contrast, the sample was divided into three groups: cases with posterior vitreous detachment (n = 12); cases without posterior vitreous detachment (n = 18); and controls (n = 85), and their contrast thresholds were compared. Results: Photopic and mesopic contrast thresholds were lower by 37.4% and 27.5%, respectively, when the cases were compared with the controls (p = 0.028 and p < 0.001 for photopic and mesopic contrast thresholds, respectively). Photopic contrast was lower by 64.0% in cases with posterior vitreous detachment compared with controls (p = 0.001). Compared with controls, mesopic contrast was lower in cases with posterior vitreous detachment and in cases without posterior vitreous detachment by 30.3% and 25.6%, respectively (p = 0.014 and p = 0.017 for cases with and without posterior vitreous detachment, respectively). Conclusion: : Subjects with vitreous degeneration have diminished photopic and mesopic contrast thresholds compared with controls. This finding highlights the negative impact of vitreous degeneration on the quality of vision.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Posterior vitreous detachment
  • Visual function
  • floaters
  • vitreous

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