Mobility Enhancement & Vision Rehabilitation Publications
Visual impairments are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and negatively affect quality of life. We describe a 39-year-old woman with a severe TBI who was evaluated by the inpatient optometry and vision rehabilitation service with findings of complete right homonymous hemianopia and right cranial nerve III palsy with 30-degree right exotropia (eye turn out) and complete right ptosis (eyelid will not open). The 30-degree exotropia advantageously generated 30 degrees of right visual field expansion when the right ptosis was treated with a magnetic levator prosthesis, which restores eyelid opening. Once opened, the patient used visual field expansion derived from a right exotropia to overcome functional impairments caused by right hemianopia. Field expansion improved the patient's wheelchair mobility and reaching tasks during inpatient therapy. This is the first report of visual field expansion by strabismus facilitated by correction of ptosis. Strabismus should be considered for its potential field expansion benefits when homonymous visual deficits are present, before considering patching. A multidisciplinary vision rehabilitation team is well suited to make this determination.
PURPOSE: Patching for double vision is a common palliative treatment for head-trauma patients with acquired strabismus when prisms are not feasible. METHODS: We review literature on spatial neglect and discuss possible effects of monocular occlusion on spatial attention. RESULTS: Patching the left eye has been shown to worsen spatial judgments in some brain-injured patients with left neglect by inhibiting the right superior colliculus further impairing contralateral leftward orienting (the Sprague Effect). CONCLUSIONS: Because more peripheral parts of the visual field increasingly project to the contralateral superior colliculus with the temporal crescent being entirely contralateral, avoiding patching of the temporal crescent was advised, and in most cases can be achieved by taping off the spectacle lens and avoiding an elastic eye patch.
PURPOSE: To investigate the telescope use and driving patterns of bioptic drivers with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: A questionnaire addressing telescope use and driving patterns was administered by telephone interview to three groups of bioptic drivers: AMD (n = 31; median 76 years); non-AMD first licensed with a bioptic (n = 38; 53 years); and non-AMD first licensed without a bioptic (n = 47; 37 years). Driving patterns of bioptic AMD drivers were also compared with those of normal vision (NV) drivers (n = 36; 74 years) and nonbioptic AMD drivers (n = 34; 79 years). RESULTS: Bioptic usage patterns of AMD drivers did not differ from those of the younger bioptic drivers and greater visual difficulty without the bioptic was strongly correlated with greater bioptic helpfulness. Bioptic AMD drivers were more likely to report avoidance of night driving than the age-similar NV drivers (P = 0.06). However, they reported less difficulty than the nonbioptic AMD drivers in all driving situations (P ≤ 0.02). Weekly mileages of bioptic AMD drivers were lower than those of the younger bioptic drivers (P < 0.001), but not the NV group (P = 0.54), and were higher than those of the nonbioptic AMD group (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that bioptic telescopes met the visual demands of drivers with AMD and that those drivers had relatively unrestricted driving habits. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Licensure with a bioptic telescope may prolong driving of older adults with AMD; however, objective measures of bioptic use, driving performance, and safety are needed.
Driving is an important rehabilitation goal for patients with homonymous field defects (HFDs); however, whether or not people with HFDs should be permitted to drive is not clear. Over the last 15 years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies evaluating the effects of HFDs on driving performance. This review of the literature provides a much-needed summary for practitioners and researchers, addressing the following topics: regulations pertaining to driving with HFDs, self-reported driving difficulties, pass rates in on-road tests, the effects of HFDs on lane position and steering stability, the effects of HFDs on scanning and detection of potential hazards, screening for potential fitness to drive, evaluating practical fitness to drive and the efficacy of interventions to improve driving of persons with HFDs. Although there is clear evidence from on-road studies that some people with HFDs may be rated as safe to drive, others are reported to have significant deficits in skills important for safe driving, including taking a lane position too close to one side of the travel lane, unstable steering and inadequate viewing (scanning) behaviour. Driving simulator studies have provided strong evidence of a wide range in compensatory scanning abilities and detection performance, despite similar amounts of visual field loss. Conventional measurements of visual field extent (in which eye movements are not permitted) do not measure such compensatory abilities and are not predictive of on-road driving performance. Thus, there is a need to develop better tests to screen people with HFDs for visual fitness to drive. We are not yet at a point where we can predict which HFD patient is likely to be a safe driver. Therefore, it seems only fair to provide an opportunity for individualised assessments of practical fitness to drive either on the road and/or in a driving simulator.
Radiologists perform many 'visual search tasks' in which they look for one or more instances of one or more types of target item in a medical image (e.g. cancer screening). To understand and improve how radiologists do such tasks, it must be understood how the human 'search engine' works. This article briefly reviews some of the relevant work into this aspect of medical image perception. Questions include how attention and the eyes are guided in radiologic search? How is global (image-wide) information used in search? How might properties of human vision and human cognition lead to errors in radiologic search?
PURPOSE: Horizontal peripheral prisms for hemianopia provide field expansion above and below the horizontal meridian; however, there is a vertical gap leaving the central area (important for driving) without expansion. In the oblique design, tilting the bases of both prism segments toward the horizontal meridian moves the field expansion area vertically and centrally (closing the central gap) while the prisms remain in the peripheral location. However, tilting the prisms results also in a reduction of the lateral field expansion. Higher prism powers are needed to counter this effect. METHODS: We developed, implemented, and tested a series of designs aimed at increasing the prism power to reduce the central gap while maintaining wide lateral expansion. The designs included inserting the peripheral prisms into carrier lenses that included yoked prism in the opposite direction, combination of two Fresnel segments attached at the base and angled to each other (bi-part prisms), and creating Fresnel prism-like segments from nonparallel periscopic mirror pairs (reflective prisms). RESULTS: A modest increase in lateral power was achieved with yoked-prism carriers. Bi-part combination of 36Δ Fresnel segments provided high power with some reduction in image quality. Fresnel reflective prism segments have potential for high power with superior optical quality but may be limited in field extent or by interruptions of the expanded field. Extended apical scotomas, even with unilateral fitting, may limit the utility of very high power prisms. The high-power bi-part and reflective prisms enable a wider effective eye scanning range (more than 15 degrees) into the blind hemifield. CONCLUSIONS: Conventional prisms of powers higher than the available 57Δ are limited by the binocular impact of a wider apical scotoma and a reduced effective eye scanning range to the blind side. The various designs that we developed may overcome these limitations and find use in various other field expansion applications.
This paper introduces the "hybrid foraging" paradigm. In typical visual search tasks, observers search for one instance of one target among distractors. In hybrid search, observers search through visual displays for one instance of any of several types of target held in memory. In foraging search, observers collect multiple instances of a single target type from visual displays. Combining these paradigms, in hybrid foraging tasks observers search visual displays for multiple instances of any of several types of target (as might be the case in searching the kitchen for dinner ingredients or an X-ray for different pathologies). In the present experiment, observers held 8-64 target objects in memory. They viewed displays of 60-105 randomly moving photographs of objects and used the computer mouse to collect multiple targets before choosing to move to the next display. Rather than selecting at random among available targets, observers tended to collect items in runs of one target type. Reaction time (RT) data indicate searching again for the same item is more efficient than searching for any other targets, held in memory. Observers were trying to maximize collection rate. As a result, and consistent with optimal foraging theory, they tended to leave 25-33% of targets uncollected when moving to the next screen/patch. The pattern of RTs shows that while observers were collecting a target item, they had already begun searching memory and the visual display for additional targets, making the hybrid foraging task a useful way to investigate the interaction of visual and memory search.