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Barbara Swiatczak, Frank Schaeffel; Transient Eye Shortening During Reading Text With Inverted Contrast: Effects of Refractive Error and Letter Size. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(4):17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.4.17.
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Myopes have a reduced ability to elicit transient axial eye shortening after imposed positive defocus, which may be due to changes in the biochemical signaling cascade controlling choroidal thickness. We have investigated whether reading with inverted text contrast can still elicit transient axial eye shortening in myopes, like it has been shown in emmetropes.
Changes in axial length before and after reading were measured with the Lenstar LS-900. Text with inverted contrast was read from a large screen at 2 m distance (angular subtense 35.9°, screen luminance matched in all conditions to 86 ± 7 cd/m²) for 30 minutes. Moreover, we investigated the effects of letter sizes. Two text sizes were tested: “small” text (letter height 13.75 arcmin) and “large” text (letter height 34.39 arcmin).
Reading text with inverted contrast induced eye shortening (–10.2 ± 9.5 µm) in myopic eyes (n = 11; refraction –3.5 ± 1.9 diopters [D]), showing that an inhibitory signal was still generated by the retina as in emmetropes. In 15 subjects (refraction +1.7 to –4.2 D) we found that small text does not elicit significant differences in axial length (P = 0.09). However, with large text, changes in axial length were clearly different for the both contrast polarities (standard contrast, +1.7 ± 9.0 µm; inverted contrast, –9.7 ± 8.9 µm; P = 0.0017).
Although positive defocus may not be an effective intervention to inhibit further eye growth in myopes, other visual stimuli can still trigger choroidal thickening and possibly generate signals to decrease myopia progression.
Our results have shown the optimized text features, which may have a positive impact on myopia control.
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