Slow photostress recovery and disease severity in age-related macular degeneration

Retina. 1995;15(5):407-12. doi: 10.1097/00006982-199515050-00006.


Purpose: To determine whether photostress recovery time varies with severity of disease in age-related macular degeneration.

Methods: Photostress recovery time, visual acuity, and foveal retinal pigment epithelial atrophy were evaluated for the fellow eyes of 133 patients with unilateral neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Recovery times were measured by a method that flashed letters on a computer screen in random order before and after a 10 second bleach.

Results: Recovery times were delayed in 62% of the patients (including 47% of those with normal visual acuity), ranged up to 6 times the normal limit, and increased with advancing age (P < 0.0001). Photostress recovery time was inversely correlated with visual acuity (P < 0.0001) and longer in eyes with visible atrophy than in eyes without atrophy (P = 0.0007). Significant relationships between these two pairs of measures were also found after controlling for age.

Conclusion: These findings support previous evidence that the time for visual recovery after exposure to a glare source is commonly slowed in age-related macular degeneration even among patients with normal visual acuity and further show that it can vary with age and extent of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atrophy
  • Dark Adaptation
  • Female
  • Fovea Centralis / pathology
  • Fovea Centralis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vision Tests*
  • Visual Acuity