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Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2004 Jan;24(1):17-25.

Effect of light filters on reading speed in normal and low vision due to age-related macular degeneration.

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  • 1Neurosciences Research Institute, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.



To investigate the effects of light filters on reading speed in normal and low vision due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Reading speed was determined for 12 subjects with normal vision and 12 subjects with non-exudative AMD using stationary lowercase nonsensical print in Times Roman font and four light filters; a yellow Corning Photochromic Filter (CPF) 450, a grey neural density (ND) filter, an individual filter obtained using the Intuitive Colorimeter and a clear filter.


There was no statistically significant light filter effect on reading speed for the normal subjects. The AMD group demonstrated a statistically significant 5% average improvement in reading speed with the CPF450 compared with the other filters although some AMD subjects had improvements of 10-15%.


Light filters obtained using the Intuitive Colorimeter(R) performed poorly when compared with the CPF450, ND and clear filters for both the study groups. For the AMD group, average reading speed was statistically greater with the CPF450 than the other filters, however it is questionable whether the improvement (5%) would be clinically significant. As some of the subjects with AMD had greater improvements with the CPF450 we advocate clinical assessment of light filters using existing protocols on an individual basis.

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