Contrast sensitivity and binocular reading speed best correlating with near distance vision-related quality of life in bilateral nAMD

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020 Nov;40(6):760-769. doi: 10.1111/opo.12736. Epub 2020 Sep 22.


Purpose: Bilateral neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) causes difficulties in daily life, especially with regard to near-vision tasks, despite well preserved Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at distance. Therefore, alternative visual function measures were evaluated in terms of their correlation with vision-related quality of life scores (QoL).

Methods: A prospective cross-sectional pilot study including patients with a diagnosis of bilateral nAMD having lesions within the central 1 mm ETDRS grid subfield. Standardised testing included a vision-related QoL assessment (NEI-VFQ25), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), low luminance visual acuity (LLVA), Radner maximum reading speed and Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity (CS).

Results: N = 54. The mean better eye (range) BCVA was 79 (55-96) letters, median (range) LLVA 79.5 (58-97) letters and median (range) CS 1.35 (0-1.65) log units. Mean binocular maximum reading speed was 117.33 ± 28.42 wpm. The best correlations with the near subscale score were found for CS followed by binocular maximum reading speed (r = 0.59, p = 0.0001; r = 0.36, p = 0.008, respectively). A weaker correlation was observed for the BCVA in the better eye (r = 0.33, p = 0.02). The correlation between the NEI-VFQ25 distance subscale and BCVA was weaker (r = 0.37, p = 0.005) than the correlations with CS (r = 0.67, p = 0.0001) and LLVA (r = 0.40, p = 0.003).

Conclusions: For patients with a bilateral centre-involving nAMD, the best correlation with near QoL was the better eye CS followed by maximum binocular reading speed. These measures could be valuable in quantifying vision-related QoL outcomes in AMD clinical trials.

Keywords: ETDRS; NEI-VFQ25; age related macular degeneration; contrast sensitivity; quality of life; reading speed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reading*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / psychology