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Eye Movements in Patients with Glaucoma When Viewing Images of Everyday Scenes

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For more content, see Multisensory Research and Spatial Vision.

This study tests the hypothesis that patients with bilateral glaucoma exhibit different eye movements compared to normally-sighted people when viewing computer displayed photographs of everyday scenes. Thirty glaucomatous patients and 30 age-related controls with normal vision viewed images on a computer monitor whilst eye movements were simultaneously recorded using an eye tracking system. The patients demonstrated a significant reduction in the average number of saccades compared to controls ( P = 0 . 02 ; mean reduction of 7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 3–11%)). There was no difference in average saccade amplitude between groups but there was between-person variability in patients. The average elliptical region scanned by the patients by a bivariate contour ellipse area (BCEA) analysis, was more restricted compared to controls ( P = 0 . 004 ; mean reduction of 23% (95% (CI): 11–35%)). A novel analysis mapping areas of interest in the images indicated a weak association between severity of functional deficit and a tendency to not view regions typically viewed by the controls. In conclusion, some eye movements in some patients with bilateral glaucomatous defects differ from normal-sighted people of a similar age when viewing images of everyday scenes, providing evidence for a potential new window for looking into the functional consequences of the disease.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Optometry and Visual Science, City University London, London, EC1V 0HB, UK; 2: 2NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK


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