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Exploring Eye Movements in Patients with Glaucoma When Viewing a Driving Scene

Crabb, D. P., Smith, N. D., Rauscher, F. G., Chisholm, C. M., Barbur, J. L., Edgar, D. F and Garway-Heath, D. F. (2010). Exploring Eye Movements in Patients with Glaucoma When Viewing a Driving Scene. PLoS ONE, 5(3), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009710

Abstract

Background: Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease and a leading cause of visual disability. Automated assessment of the visual field determines the different stages in the disease process: it would be desirable to link these measurements taken in the clinic with patient's actual function, or establish if patients compensate for their restricted field of view when performing everyday tasks. Hence, this study investigated eye movements in glaucomatous patients when viewing driving scenes in a hazard perception test (HPT).

Methodology/Principal Findings: The HPT is a component of the UK driving licence test consisting of a series of short film clips of various traffic scenes viewed from the driver's perspective each containing hazardous situations that require the camera car to change direction or slow down. Data from nine glaucomatous patients with binocular visual field defects and ten age-matched control subjects were considered (all experienced drivers). Each subject viewed 26 different films with eye movements simultaneously monitored by an eye tracker. Computer software was purpose written to pre-process the data, co-register it to the film clips and to quantify eye movements and point-of-regard (using a dynamic bivariate contour ellipse analysis). On average, and across all HPT films, patients exhibited different eye movement characteristics to controls making, for example, significantly more saccades (P<0.001; 95% confidence interval for mean increase: 9.2 to 22.4%). Whilst the average region of ‘point-of-regard’ of the patients did not differ significantly from the controls, there were revealing cases where patients failed to see a hazard in relation to their binocular visual field defect.

Conclusions/Significance: Characteristics of eye movement patterns in patients with bilateral glaucoma can differ significantly from age-matched controls when viewing a traffic scene. Further studies of eye movements made by glaucomatous patients could provide useful information about the definition of the visual field component required for fitness to drive.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES, VISUAL-FIELD LOSS, FIXATION STABILITY, MACULAR DEGENERATION, VISION, PERFORMANCE, FITNESS, SCOTOMAS, DRIVERS, WALKING, SEARCH
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Optometry & Visual Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3259
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