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Jennifer D. Verriotto, Alex Gonzalez, Mariela C. Aguilar, Jean-Marie A. Parel, William J. Feuer, Andrew R. Smith, Byron L. Lam; New Methods for Quantification of Visual Photosensitivity Threshold and Symptoms. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2017;6(4):18. doi: 10.1167/tvst.6.4.18.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual photosensitivity is a common symptom difficult to measure and diagnose, and is found in many ocular and neurological disorders. We developed two novel reproducible quantitative assessments of visual photosensitivity.
We designed and built the ocular photosensitivity analyzer (OPA), an automated instrument to determine light intensity visual photosensitivity threshold (VPT), and developed the Visual Light Sensitivity Questionnaire-8 (VLSQ-8), an eight-question survey to assess the presence and severity of photosensitivity symptoms. We evaluated the test–retest variability and obtained normative values of these two approaches in 35 healthy normal subjects, distributed evenly over five age groups from eight to 60 years. Each subject underwent two test sessions, each with VLSQ-8, eye examination, and OPA, four weeks apart, between April 2015 and June 2016.
Log-transformed VPTs (log10lux) and VLSQ-8 results were highly reproducible between the two sessions (VPT intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.71–0.93; binocular testing, VLSQ-items ICC range = 0.53–0.87). No consistent significant differences in VPTs were found with monocular (P = 0.053, session 1) or binocular (P = 0.26) testing. Subjects in age group >30 to 40 years had significantly higher VPTs than those in other age groups (P ≤ 0.011) except the >40 to 50 years age group (P = 0.11). Photosensitivity symptoms assessed by the VLSQ-8 generally were low and highly reproducible with ≥88% of responses between the 2 sessions being within one category of each other.
Our results provide reliability data and normative results toward validation of two novel approaches to quantify visual photosensitivity and provide support for their potential use in ocular and neurologic conditions as well as in clinical trials.
The new quantitative photosensitivity approaches are potential measures to characterize disease severity, monitor disease progression, and evaluate treatment efficacy.
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