Spectral sensitivity in eyes with macular holes and their fellow eyes

Sharanjeet Kaur, Eammon O'donoghue, Ian J. Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: This prospective study was undertaken to investigate whether spectral sensitivity can be useful in determining the prognosis of fellow eyes of eyes with macular holes. Methods: Spectral sensitivity measurements using a one degree test spot presented at a rate of 1 Hz and 25 Hz on a bright (1000 td) white background were carried out on 10 patients aged between 67 and 74 years (mean age 70.3 ± 2.6 years). Each patient had a full thickness macular hole in one eye and a normal contralateral fellow eye. The spectral sensitivity measurements were made with eccentric fixation in the eyes with macular holes and with central fixation in the normal fellow eye. A year later, the patient files were reviewed to look at the patient's ocular condition. Another 10 subjects between the ages of 50 and 80 years (mean age 69.5 ± 4.2 years) were also seen. These control group subjects had visual acuities of 6/9 or better with minimal ocular media changes and no ocular or systemic pathology that could affect colour vision. Results: The 1 Hz and 25 Hz spectral sensitivities of all patients were reduced for both eyes. Despite the good eye without a macular hole having a VA of 6/6, the spectral sensitivity was similar to that of the eye with the macular hole and markedly reduced visual acuity. Conclusion: The present investigation enabled us to examine the chromatic and achromatic mechanisms by testing spectral sensitivity at 1 Hz and 25 Hz, respectively. The data revealed that both chromatic and achromatic processing could be damaged in the eye with a macular hole. Surprisingly, the spectral sensitivities of both 1 Hz and 25 Hz are equally reduced in the good fellow eye with no macular hole. A one-year follow-up showed that two of the 10 patients (20 per cent) did eventually develop a macular hole in the normal fellow eye. This indicates that there is some subclinical foveal dysfunction in the normal fellow eye, the nature of which is unclear.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)385-389
    Number of pages4
    JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


    • Fellow eye
    • Macular hole
    • Spectral sensitivity


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