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Free Content Contrast sensitivity and visual recovery time in diabetic patients treated with panretinal photocoagulation

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To study patients treated with panretinal photocoagulation regarding contrast sensitivity and visual recovery time after exposure to glare.


To compare contrast sensitivity and visual recovery-time after exposure to glare in eyes (n=20) from 20 type 1 diabetic patients treated with panretinal photocoagulation for proliferative retinopathy with eyes (n=19) from 19 un-treated type 1 diabetic patients. Contrast sensitivity was tested with a low contrast acuity chart, before and during exposure to either a uniform background illumination or a spotlight. Visual recovery time was defined as the time required to regain baseline visual acuity during light exposure.


Contrast thresholds values were higher in eyes treated with panretinal photocoagulation compared to un-treated eyes before illumination 4.2±1.2% vs. 3.1±1.7% (p=0.006), during background illumination 5.8±5.1% vs. 3.9±4.8% (p=0.001), and during spotlight exposure 5.6±2.2% vs. 3.2±1.8% (p<0.001). Furthermore, recovery time was longer both during background illumination, 20; 5–50 sec vs. 2; 2–80 sec. (md;range), (p<0.001) and during spotlight illumination 27; 5–70 sec vs. 2;1–60 sec. (md;range) (p<0.001).


Eyes treated with panretinal photocoagulation had higher contrast threshold levels at baseline and during glare, as well as a prolonged visual recovery time compared to un-treated eyes with mild background retinopathy.

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Keywords: contrast sensitivity; diabetes; glare; panretinal photocoagulation; visual recovery time

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, Lund, Department of Physics, Lund 2: , Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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