Comparison of methods to assess visual impairment from glare and light scattering with posterior capsule opacification

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1998 Dec;24(12):1626-31. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(98)80354-4.


Purpose: To compare 2 glare tests to determine their relative usefulness in the assessment of posterior capsule opacification (PCO) and to evaluate the potential benefits of combined visual, acuity, contrast sensitivity, and glare testing.

Setting: Teaching hospital ophthalmology department.

Methods: Sixteen patients had glare, visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity testing before and after neodymium:YAG (Nd:YAG) capsulotomy. Results with the Brightness Acuity Tester (BAT, Mentor), which measures disability glare, and the Straylightmeter (Foundation for Eye Research, The Netherlands), which quantifies forward scatter by direct compensation techniques, were compared. The correlation between glare, ETDRS visual acuity, and Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity was determined.

Results: Pretreatment visual acuity was significantly correlated with contrast sensitivity (P < .01). However, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were poorly correlated with both the BAT and Straylightmeter (P > .05), indicating that visual acuity is predictive of contrast sensitivity but a poor predictor of glare. Glare was significantly improved (Straylightmeter, P < .0001; BAT, P < .05) following capsulotomy. While the Straylightmeter consistently measured precapsulotomy forward scatter that improved with treatment, corresponding BAT disability glare was unmeasurable in 18.8% of patients with PCO, as their visual acuities improved rather than deteriorated with glare testing.

Conclusions: Glare testing provided more information than contrast sensitivity when combined with visual acuity in the evaluation of PCO. Glare related to PCO is better assessed using the Straylightmeter because the BAT may yield aberrant disability glare results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / diagnosis*
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Female
  • Glare*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / pathology*
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / surgery
  • Light
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification / adverse effects
  • Scattering, Radiation*
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Visual Acuity