Background/Aims: Central visual loss caused by conditions such as age related macular degeneration is the commonest cause of blindness in the United Kingdom. Eccentric viewing training aims to teach the patients how to utilise the functioning areas of macula. This technique has yet to gain acceptance in U.K despite evidence of success.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of the outcome of eccentric viewing training to read in 300 subjects was carried out.
Results: The data for 300 patients were reviewed. 58 were excluded due to incomplete final data. Reading speed, font size, degree of comprehension, duration of reading, age and number of lessons were recorded before, and after training. The mean age (standard deviation) was 75.4 (12). The mean (SD) number of one hour lessons required was 3.8 (1.6). The starting mean (SD) of corrected word per minute (WPM) reading speed was 48 (35) and this increased to a mean (SD) of 71.9 (30.5) (P=0.000). The starting mean (SD) Arial font size was 14.3 (7.6) and this improved to a mean (SD) of 11.5 (2.4). The starting mean (SD) duration of comfortable reading was 1.7 (2.0) minutes. This increased to a mean (SD) of 15.8 (14.6) minutes. The mean (SD) percentage of material read which was understood by the patients was 73.7% (36.9%). This improved to a mean (SD) of 92.7% (16.2%). P=0.000. Overall, the majority of patients exhibited improvement in one or more of the vision related tasks measured.
Conclusion: Eccentric viewing training is successful in improving the reading ability of individuals with a central scotoma.