Visual rehabilitation of patients with corneal diseases
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Although most patients with visual impairment due to corneal diseases can be treated successfully with surgery, some require visual rehabilitation to restore reading ability. To evaluate the best LVAs especially in terms of reading speed and characterize this specific patient group a study was conducted.

All 34 patients underwent a detailed examination (slit-lamp, funduscopy, SD-OCT, ETDRS) as screening. Only patients with corneal diseases without other ocular diseases were included. Reading-speed was assessed with International-Reading-Speed-Texts (IReST) consecutively with five different LVAs (low vision aids) during one day in a randomized cross-over design. Corneal haze was quantified with corneal densitometry (Pentacam).

Patients were either visually impaired (n = 28), severely impaired (n = 4) or legally blind (n = 2). Patients read significantly faster with LVAs. Fastest reading speed could be achieved with video magnifier (CCTV). Optical magnifier and portable-electronic magnifier enabled significantly lower reading speeds. In a subgroup of patients black background enabled patients to read significantly faster compared to white background.

Patients with low magnification requirement can be treated successfully with optical LVAs and portable-electronic magnifiers. More severely afflicted patients need a CCTV. Black background enables fastest reading-speeds, probably due to less blinding. Visual impairment can be estimated with corneal densitometry. This trial confirms the capability of LVAs to successfully restore the reading ability in patients with corneal diseases, which is a crucial part of visual rehabilitation.