Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vision Therapy Appears To Improve Visual Function In Macular Disease

Date:
May 13, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A low-vision therapy program that includes a home visit, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and assignments to practice using them appears to significantly improve vision in veterans with diseases of the macula, according to a new article.

A low-vision therapy program that includes a home visit, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and assignments to practice using them appears to significantly improve vision in veterans with diseases of the macula (the area of the retina with the sharpest vision), according to a new article.

Related Articles


"Low vision, chronic visual impairment that limits everyday function, is one of the 10 most prevalent causes of disability in America," the authors write as background information in the article. In addition to affecting daily function, low vision increases the risk of depression, injury and an overall decline in health. Most diseases that cause low vision are not curable. "In most cases, impaired vision cannot be corrected and rehabilitation is the only option for regaining lost function for the patient with low vision. Low-vision rehabilitation aims to restore functional ability, the ability to perform tasks modulated by visual impairment."

Joan A. Stelmack, O.D., M.P.H., of the Edward E. Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, Ill., and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and colleagues studied 126 patients (average age 78.9, 98 percent male) with low vision and diseases affecting the macula who were eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) services. Between November 2004 and November 2006, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. In one, patients received a vision therapy program incorporating a low-vision examination, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and five weekly sessions provided by a low-vision therapist to teach use of the assistive devices and other adaptive strategies. They were also assigned homework to ensure they used the devices outside of therapy. The other group was placed on a wait list for the therapy program and received no treatment for four months, an amount of time veterans might normally wait to receive such services.

After four months, the 64 patients in the treatment group received an average of 10.46 hours of face-to-face vision therapy and experienced a significant improvement in all aspects of visual function, including reading ability. Among the 62 patients in the group that did not receive therapy, vision and functional ability declined over the four-month follow-up. "Significant improvements in functional ability for mobility, visual information processing, visual motor skills and overall ability also were seen in the treatment group; small losses in these functions were observed in the control group," the authors write.

"At least 10 hours of low-vision therapy, including a home visit and assigned homework to encourage practice, is justified for patients with moderate and severe vision loss from macular diseases," they conclude. "Because the waiting-list control patients demonstrated a decline in functional ability, low-vision services should be offered as early as possible."

Funding for this research was provided by a Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development grant. Funding for the low-vision devices prescribed and dispensed to veteran participants was provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs Prosthetics Service.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Archives of Ophthalmology. May 2008;126[5]:608-617

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Vision Therapy Appears To Improve Visual Function In Macular Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512163836.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, May 13). Vision Therapy Appears To Improve Visual Function In Macular Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512163836.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Vision Therapy Appears To Improve Visual Function In Macular Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512163836.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins