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Concept: Visual acuity


Visual abilities of the honey bee have been studied for more than 100 years, recently revealing unexpectedly sophisticated cognitive skills rivalling those of vertebrates. However, the physiological limits of the honey bee eye have been largely unaddressed and only studied in an unnatural, dark state. Using a bright display and intracellular recordings, we here systematically investigated the angular sensitivity across the light adapted eye of honey bee foragers. Angular sensitivity is a measure of photoreceptor receptive field size and thus small values indicate higher visual acuity. Our recordings reveal a fronto-ventral acute zone in which angular sensitivity falls below 1.9°, some 30% smaller than previously reported. By measuring receptor noise and responses to moving dark objects, we also obtained direct measures of the smallest features detectable by the retina. In the frontal eye, single photoreceptors respond to objects as small as 0.6° × 0.6°, with >99% reliability. This indicates that honey bee foragers possess significantly better resolution than previously reported or estimated behaviourally, and commonly assumed in modelling of bee acuity.

Concepts: Rod cell, Insect, Visual acuity, Receptive field, Honey bee, Eye, Retina, Photoreceptor cell


PURPOSE: To investigate the normative data of ocular axial length and its associations in Chinese. METHOD: The population-based Beijing Eye Study 2011 is a cross-sectional study performed in Greater Beijing. The study included 3468 individuals (1963 (56.6%) women) with a mean age of 64.6±9.8 years (range: 50-93 years). A detailed ophthalmic and medical examination was performed. Axial length was measured by optical low-coherence reflectometry. RESULTS: Axial length measurements were available for 3159 (91.1%) study participants. Mean axial length was 23.25±1.14 mm (range: 18.96-30.88 mm). In multivariate analysis, axial length was significantly associated with the systemic parameters of higher age (P<0.001), higher body height (P = 0.003), higher level of education (P<0.001) and urban region of habitation (P<0.001), and with the ocular parameters of thicker central cornea (P = 0.001), higher corneal curvature radius (P<0.001), deeper anterior chamber (P<0.001), thicker lens (P<0.001), more myopic refractive error (P<0.001), larger pupil diameter (P = 0.018), and higher best corrected visual acuity (P<0.001). It was additionally and negatively associated with the lens vault (P<0.001). In highly myopic eyes, axial length was significantly associated with lower level of education (P = 0.008), more myopic refractive error (P<0.001), and lower best corrected visual acuity (P = 0.034). CONCLUSIONS: Mean ocular axial length in the older adult population of Greater Beijing (23.25±1.14 mm) was similar to the value measured in other urban populations and was higher than in a rural Central Indian population. The association between axial length and older age may potentially be associated with a survival artifact. The association between axial length and body height agrees with the general association between anthropomorphic measures and eye globe size. The association with the level of education and urban region of habitation confirms with previous studies. In contrast in highly myopic eyes, axial length was negatively associated with educational level and best corrected visual acuity.

Concepts: Refractive error, Contact lens, Length, Myopia, Pupil, Visual acuity, Eye, Cornea


Background: Refractive errors (RE) are the most common cause of avoidable visual impairment in children. But benefits of visual aids, which are means for correcting RE, depend on the compliance of visual aids by end users. Aim: To study the compliance of spectacle wear among rural school children in Pune district as part of the sarva siksha abhiyan (education for all scheme) after 6 - 12 months of providing free spectacles. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional follow-up study of rural secondary school children in western India. Materials and Methods: The students were examined by a team of optometrists who collected the demographic details, observed if the child was wearing the spectacles, and performed an ocular examination. The students were asked to give reasons for non-wear in a closed-ended questionnaire. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression used for data analysis. Results: Of the 2312 students who were dispensed spectacles in 2009, 1018 were re-examined in 2010. 523 students (51.4%) were female, the mean age was 12.1 years 300 (29.5%) were wearing their spectacles, 492 (68.5%) students claimed to have them at home while 211 (29.4%) reported not having them at all. Compliance of spectacle wear was positively associated to the magnitude of refractive error (P < 0.001), father's education (P = 0.016), female sex (P = 0.029) and negatively associated to the visual acuity of the better eye (P < 0.001) and area of residence (P < 0.0001). Of those that were examined and found to be myopic (N = 499), 220 (44%) wore their spectacles to examination. Factors associated with compliance to spectacle usage in the myopic population included increasing refractive error (P < 0.001), worsening visual acuity (P < 0.001), and higher academic performance (P < 0.001). The causes for not wearing spectacles were 'lost spectacles' 67(9.3%), 'broken spectacles' 125 (17.4%), 'forgot spectacles at home' 117 (16.3%), 'uses spectacles sometimes' 109 (15.2%), 'teased about spectacles' 142 (19.8%) and 'do not like the spectacles' 86 (12%). Conclusion: Spectacle compliance was poor amongst school children in rural Pune; many having significant vision loss as a result.

Concepts: Visual impairment, Refraction, Regression analysis, Visual acuity, Glasses, Ophthalmology, Myopia, Refractive error


PURPOSE: To compare the visual outcomes of additional multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) for sulcus fixation with those of standard multifocal IOLs in the capsular bag. SETTING: Department of Ophthalmology, Rudolf-Virchow-Klinikum Glauchau, Glauchau, Germany. DESIGN: Prospective controlled clinical trial. METHODS: Eyes had phacoemulsification and implantation of a monofocal IOL in the capsular bag and an additional aberration-free diffractive IOL in the ciliary sulcus (multifocal add-on IOL group). Measurements of uncorrected and distance-corrected distance, intermediate, and near visual acuities; contrast sensitivity; and defocus curve were performed 3 months postoperatively. Results were compared with those in eyes with an aberration-correcting diffractive posterior chamber IOL (multifocal PC IOL group). RESULTS: The multifocal add-on IOL group comprised 34 eyes of 20 patients and the multifocal PC IOL group, 31 eyes of 17 patients. Cataract surgery, IOL implantation, and the postoperative course were uneventful in all cases. There were no statistically significant differences in uncorrected and distance-corrected distance, intermediate, or near visual acuities between the 2 groups. The median uncorrected distance visual acuity was 0.00 logMAR in both groups, and the median uncorrected near visual acuity was 0.10 logMAR in both groups. Contrast sensitivity testing yielded significantly better results in the multifocal add-on IOL group, especially at spatial frequencies over 1.5 cycles per degree. Defocus curves were similar in the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: Visual performance with a multifocal diffractive add-on IOL was equivalent to that achieved with a commonly used multifocal diffractive PC IOL. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Concepts: Eye surgery, Statistical significance, Contact lens, Ophthalmology, Lens, Visual acuity, Cataract, Intraocular lens


OBJECTIVE: The evaluation of visual acuity (VA) in cognitively impaired older individuals may be limited by a reduced ability to cooperate or communicate. The objective of this research was to assess VA in older institutionalized individuals with cognitive impairment, including severe dementia, using various acuity charts. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, AND MEASUREMENTS: Three groups of 30 participants each were recruited: (1) young participants; (2) older participants with no history of cognitive or communication disorders; and (3) older participants with cognitive impairment, including severe dementia, residing in long term care facilities. The Mini-Mental State Examination was performed for each institutionalized subject. VA was measured using 6 validated charts [Snellen, Teller cards, Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS)-letters, -numbers, -Patty Pics, -Tumbling Es] presented in random order. Nonparametric tests were used to compare VA scores between charts, after Bonferroni-Holm corrections for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: Participants in groups 1 and 2 responded to all charts. A large proportion of participants with dementia responded to all charts (n = 19), whereas only one did not respond to any chart. In group 3, VA charts with the lowest scores were the Teller cards (20/65) and Patty Pics (20/62), regardless of the level of dementia, whereas the highest VA scores were obtained with the Snellen (20/35) and ETDRS-letter (20/36) charts. Across all groups, the ETDRS-letter chart was the only one whose scores did not differ from those obtained with the standard Snellen chart. CONCLUSIONS: Visual acuity can be measured, and should at least be attempted, in older cognitively impaired individuals having a reduced ability to communicate.

Concepts: Dementia, Abbreviated mental test score, Charts, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Snellen chart, Diabetic retinopathy, Visual acuity


To examine the prevalence of refractive errors and prevalence and causes of vision loss among preschool and school children in East China.

Concepts: Vision, Eye care professional, Pinhole occluder, Visual perception, Refraction, Refractive error, Ophthalmology, Visual acuity


Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) can result from contact lens wear or other causes. Keratitis from all causes, including contact lens wear, results in approximately 1 million clinic and emergency department visits annually, with an estimated cost of $175 million in direct health care expenditures in 2010 (1). Approximately 41 million U.S. residents wear contact lenses, and in 2014, >99% of contact lens wearers surveyed reported at least one behavior that puts them at risk for a contact lens-related eye infection (2). The Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates contact lenses as medical devices, and certain adverse events related to contact lenses are reported to FDA’s Medical Device Report (MDR) database. To describe contact lens-related corneal infections reported to the FDA, 1,075 contact lens-related MDRs containing the terms “ulcer” or “keratitis” reported to FDA during 2005-2015 were analyzed. Among these 1,075 reports, 925 (86.0%) were reported by a contact lens manufacturer and 150 (14.0%) by an eye care provider or patient. Overall, 213 (19.8%) reports described a patient who had a central corneal scar, had a decrease in visual acuity, or required a corneal transplant following the event. Among the reports, 270 (25.1%) described modifiable factors known to be associated with an increased risk for contact lens-related corneal infections, including sleeping in contact lenses or poor contact lens hygiene; the remainder did not provide details that permitted determination of associated factors. Continued efforts to educate contact lens wearers about prevention of contact lens-related eye infections are needed.

Concepts: Ophthalmology, Optometry, Contact lenses, Visual acuity, Keratitis, Eye, Cornea, Contact lens


This study examined the prevalence of co-morbid age-related eye disease and symptoms of depression and anxiety in late life, and the relative roles of visual function and disease in explaining symptoms of depression and anxiety. A community-based sample of 662 individuals aged over 70 years was recruited through the electoral roll. Vision was measured using a battery of tests including high and low contrast visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, motion sensitivity, stereoacuity, Useful Field of View, and visual fields. Depression and anxiety symptoms were measured using the Goldberg scales. The prevalence of self-reported eye disease [cataract, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD)] in the sample was 43.4%, with 7.7% reporting more than one form of ocular pathology. Of those with no eye disease, 3.7% had clinically significant depressive symptoms. This rate was 6.7% among cataract patients, 4.3% among those with glaucoma, and 10.5% for AMD. Generalized linear models adjusting for demographics, general health, treatment, and disability examined self-reported eye disease and visual function as correlates of depression and anxiety. Depressive symptoms were associated with cataract only, AMD, comorbid eye diseases and reduced low contrast visual acuity. Anxiety was significantly associated with self-reported cataract, and reduced low contrast visual acuity, motion sensitivity and contrast sensitivity. We found no evidence for elevated rates of depressive or anxiety symptoms associated with self-reported glaucoma. The results support previous findings of high rates of depression and anxiety in cataract and AMD, and in addition show that mood and anxiety are associated with objective measures of visual function independently of self-reported eye disease. The findings have implications for the assessment and treatment of mental health in the context of late-life visual impairment.

Concepts: Vision, Macular degeneration, Disease, Eye, Mental disorder, Retina, Visual acuity, Ophthalmology


We conducted a case-control study in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to investigate ocular signs in Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors. A total of 82 EVD survivors with ocular symptoms and 105 controls from asymptomatic civilian and military personnel and symptomatic eye clinic attendees underwent ophthalmic examination, including widefield retinal imaging. Snellen visual acuity was <6/7.5 in 75.6% (97.5% CI 63%-85.7%) of EVD survivors and 75.5% (97.5% CI 59.1%-87.9%) of controls. Unilateral white cataracts were present in 7.4% (97.5% CI 2.4%-16.7%) of EVD survivors and no controls. Aqueous humor from 2 EVD survivors with cataract but no anterior chamber inflammation were PCR-negative for Zaire Ebola virus, permitting cataract surgery. A novel retinal lesion following the anatomic distribution of the optic nerve axons occurred in 14.6% (97.5% CI 7.1%-25.6%) of EVD survivors and no controls, suggesting neuronal transmission as a route of ocular entry.

Concepts: Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, Western Area, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Freetown, Ebola, Sierra Leone, Ophthalmology, Visual acuity


Adipose tissue-derived “stem cells” have been increasingly used by “stem-cell clinics” in the United States and elsewhere to treat a variety of disorders. We evaluated three patients in whom severe bilateral visual loss developed after they received intravitreal injections of autologous adipose tissue-derived “stem cells” at one such clinic in the United States. In these three patients, the last documented visual acuity on the Snellen eye chart before the injection ranged from 20/30 to 20/200. The patients' severe visual loss after the injection was associated with ocular hypertension, hemorrhagic retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage, combined traction and rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, or lens dislocation. After 1 year, the patients' visual acuity ranged from 20/200 to no light perception.

Concepts: Eye, Vision loss, Snellen chart, Visual perception, Visual acuity, Retinal detachment, Retina, Ophthalmology