Optical Physics May Help Macular Degeneration Distortion

Serving Poughkeepsie, Fishkill and Nearby Areas of the Hudson Valley

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The application of optical physics might be helpful to patients with visual distortion caused by macular degeneration (AMD).  Even as our ability to quickly detect, diagnose and treat macular degeneration advances, there are still some patients who experience a disturbing distortion and twisting of their vision resulting from macular degeneration.

Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn described a potential application of what is a dynamic “translator” for the particular distortion a patient experiences either in handheld computers or an optical corrective lens. We routinely use the Amsler Grid, a graph-paper-like pattern to diagnose AMD-Dr. Kohn suggested that the Amsler grid could also be used to develop an optical correction.

When people with healthy eyes look at the Amsler Grid, they see its straight horizontal and vertical lines, with a dot at center.  Patients with AMD, however, often perceive a distortion about two or three centimeters in diameter in the center.

Dr. Kohn has initiated the development of software that lets an AMD patient, using a mouse, pull the virtual lines until he or she perceives the grid as “perfect,” yielding reversal of the specific distortion a person experiences. Dr. Kohn then uses these results to create a correction for that patient. In one experimental device, a handheld computer scans the printed page, using software to perform dynamic compensation, distorting the text to make it readable for patients. In addition, Dr. Kohn uses of a slab of optical material to fabricate the visual correction so that AMD patients could hold the optical slab of refractive material over text, pictures or reading material, just like the magnifying glass people use for seeing small type—only the surface of Kohn’s slab resembles ocean currents or waves that reverse the distortion. These are very exciting ideas and offer promise to help us deal with the visual distortion caused by macular degeneration.

Patients who wish to who wish to learn more about macular degeneration should feel free to call Seeta Eye Centers and schedule an eye examination at 845-454-1025 , visiting Seeta Eye Centers or facebook.com/seetaeyecenters.

Seeta Eye Centers is conveniently located at 23 Davis Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, Cecilwood Health Center, 969 Main Street, Fishkill, New York 12524 and 664 Stoneleigh Avenue, Suite 100, Carmel, New York 10512 for patients from Westchester County, Rockland County and throughout the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County and Orange County.