A novel approach to the assessment of residual vision in patients with maculopathies is described. It stresses finding intact areas of the retina that might be useful for re-learning to read using eccentric viewing. The test is implemented on an affordable off-the-shelf microcomputer and can yield results within minutes without discomfort to the patient. It uses a set of peripheral landmarks to stabilize gaze without foveation. Local responses of the visual field are tested using brief (234 msec) displays of letters or groups of letters. Preliminary results show that the test can be used with good reliability on a variety of patients with macular vision loss. Individual test data enable the low vision specialist to make clear and goal-directed recommendations to the patient regarding new viewing strategies that can help to make the best of residual vision.
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