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Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2004 Dec;82(6):695-700.

The effects of coloured light filter overlays on reading rates in age-related macular degeneration.

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



To determine the effect of coloured light filter overlays on reading rates for people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Using a prospective clinical trial design, we examined the null hypothesis that coloured light filter overlays do not improve reading rates in AMD when compared to a clear filter. Reading rates for 12 subjects with non-exudative AMD, associated with a relative scotoma and central fixation (mean age 81 years, SD 5.07 years) were determined using the Rate of Reading Test (printed, nonsense, lower case sans serif, stationary text) with 10 different, coloured light filter overlays (Intuitive Overlays); figures in brackets are percentage transmission values); rose (78%), pink (78%), purple (67%), aqua (81%), blue (74%), lime-green (86%), mint-green (85%), yellow (93%), orange (83%) and grey (71%). A clear overlay (Roscolene # 00) (360 cdm-2) with 100% transmittance was used as a control.


Anova indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in reading rates with the coloured light filter overlays compared to the clear filter. Furthermore, chi-squared analysis indicated that the rose, purple and blue filters had a significantly poorer overall ranking in terms of reading rates compared to the other coloured and clear light filters.


Coloured light filter overlays are unlikely to provide a clinically significant improvement in reading rates for people with non-exudative AMD associated with a relative scotoma and central fixation.

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