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Glare sensitivity and visual acuity after excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy for myopia
  1. Ulrike Niesen,
  2. Urs Businger,
  3. Peter Hartmann,
  4. Peter Senn,
  5. Isaak Schipper
  1. Eye Clinic, Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland
  1. I Schipper, MD, Cantonal Hospital, 6000 Lucerne 16, Switzerland.


BACKGROUND Following excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), an increase in glare sensitivity and a reduction in contrast sensitivity can occur owing to changes in the cornea (structure and topography). In this study, an attempt was made to quantify and document objectively a change in those subjective perceptual factors.

METHODS Snellen visual acuity and disability glare were measured with the Berkeley glare test preoperatively as well as 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postoperatively, after excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) on 32 myopic patients (46 eyes). During the postoperative progress checks, haze was graded and contrast sensitivity was measured with the Vistech chart. All the data were statistically analysed by multiple regression.

RESULTS One year after PRK, a reduction in visual acuity (VA) measured with the low acuity contrast chart (10%) with and without glare could still be found, despite the fact that acuity measurements with a high contrast Snellen chart showed the same VA 6 months postoperatively as well as before the treatment. The lowest VA could be measured 1 month postoperatively; thereafter, the acuity increased despite the increase in haze that occurred during the first 3 months.

CONCLUSION Disability glare and a reduction in contrast sensitivity could be observed in most patients after PRK treatment with the Meditec laser system with its scanning slit. The future will show if new technology and a broader flattening area of 6 to 7 mm can minimise these postoperative complications.

  • photorefractive keratectomy
  • excimer laser
  • myopia
  • disability glare
  • visual acuity.

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