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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 995-998

Improvement in distance and near visual acuities using low vision devices in diabetic retinopathy

1 Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy (SASTRA) University, Thanjavur; Optometrist, Low Vision Care Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Optometrist, Low Vision Care Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Senior Retina Consultant, Shri Bhagwan Mahavir Vitreoretinal Services, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Raman
Sankara Nethralaya, No. 18, College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_52_17

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Purpose: The aim of this study is to elucidate the causes and level of visual impairment (VI) in patients with different pathologies of diabetic retinopathy (DR) who presented to a low vision care (LVC) clinic, to analyze the type of distant and near devices prescribed to them and the visual benefits thereof. Methods: A retrospective chart review was done for 100 consecutive patients with DR who were referred to the LVC clinic from June 2015 to June 2016. The reason for referral was assessed from the electronic medical records and available fundus photographs, fundus fluorescein angiograms, and optical coherence tomography images by a retina specialist. The details of low-vision devices and subsequent improvements were noted. Results: Of the 100 patients, 52% had moderate VI, 19% mild VI, 16% severe VI, and 13% had profound VI or blindness. The most commonly prescribed low vision device was half-eye spectacles (38.4%). The pathologies which had statistically significant improvement (P < 0.05) in distance vision with low vision devices were DR with disc pallor (4.4% improvement), ischemic maculopathy (11.9% improvement), and plaque of hard exudate (10.1% improvement). However, in all pathologies, there was statistically significant improvement (P < 0.05) in near vision. Conclusion: Usually, the patients with DR presented to the LVC clinic with moderate VI. The use of low vision devices can help these patients in cases where medical and surgical treatment have no or a limited role in restoring useful vision.

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