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Retina. 1995;15(5):407-12.

Slow photostress recovery and disease severity in age-related macular degeneration.

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Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston 02114, USA.



To determine whether photostress recovery time varies with severity of disease in age-related macular degeneration.


Photostress recovery time, visual acuity, and foveal retinal pigment epithelial atrophy were evaluated for the fellow eyes of 133 patients with unilateral neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Recovery times were measured by a method that flashed letters on a computer screen in random order before and after a 10 second bleach.


Recovery times were delayed in 62% of the patients (including 47% of those with normal visual acuity), ranged up to 6 times the normal limit, and increased with advancing age (P < 0.0001). Photostress recovery time was inversely correlated with visual acuity (P < 0.0001) and longer in eyes with visible atrophy than in eyes without atrophy (P = 0.0007). Significant relationships between these two pairs of measures were also found after controlling for age.


These findings support previous evidence that the time for visual recovery after exposure to a glare source is commonly slowed in age-related macular degeneration even among patients with normal visual acuity and further show that it can vary with age and extent of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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