gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Optical rehabilitation in age-related macular degeneration and diabetes: topical data of a low-vision clinic

Meeting Abstract

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Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogFR.03.02

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Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Froehlich.
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Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARM) and Diabetes mellitus are the major contributing causes of visual impairment in industrial nations. The study will show, how far visual acuity (VA) and magnification factor (MF) influence the selection of suitable low vision aids. Based on these informations, differences regarding the spectrum of prescribed magnifying devices between both patient groups will be presented.


In 2003, a total of 1395 patients was seen in our Low Vision Department. Among them were 641 patients with ARM (46%) and 167 visually impaired patients because of diabetic ocular involvement (12%). In every patient, best corrected distance and near VA as well as the required MF were measured. Finally, matching of magnifying aids and discussing aspects of professional and social rehabilitation were main parts of our interdisciplinary Low Vision service.


In ARM-patients, the average of best corrected distance VA at the better eye was 0,25, the best corrected near VA 0,21. In diabetes-patients, the average of best corrected distance VA at the better eye was 0,28, the best corrected near VA 0,23. The required mean MF was 4,4x (related to the reading of newspaper text) compared to 6,6x in patients with ARM. In 92% of visual impaired diabetes patients, optical magnifiers could be prescribed (e.g. magnifying eyeglasses, telescopes, monoculars, galelean and keplerian systems), whereas electronic devices were necessary in only 8%. Comparatively, patients with ARM had to be provided in 19% with electronic systems.


In 92% of visually impaired patients as cause of diabetes, reading ability could be restored using optical Low Vision aids. In ARM-patients, this could be achieved in only 81%. This fact can mainly be explained with the negative effect of absolute central scotomas on reading speed in ARM-patients, which leeds, compared to diabetes-patients, to elevated magnification factors. Therefore, the choice of certain magnifying devices depends not only on VA, but has mainly to be evaluated based on the individual MF.