Case Report: Use of Sports and Performance Vision Training to Benefit a Low Vision Patient's Function

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Abstract

SIGNIFICANCE

Despite our inability to attenuate the course of many ocular diseases that can ultimately lead to loss or significantly decreased visual function, this report describes a potential technique to aid such patients in maximizing the use of the vision that remains.

PURPOSE

The aim of this study was to demonstrate the applicability of utilizing sports vision training to improve objective and subjective visuomotor function in a low vision patient.

CASE REPORT

A 37-year-old woman with Usher syndrome presented with reduced central visual acuity and visual field. Although we were unable to reverse the damage resulting from her diagnosis, we were able to improve the use of the remaining vision. A 27 to 31% improvement in hand-eye coordination was achieved along with a 41% improvement in object tracking and visual concentration. Most importantly, following the 14-week training period, there was also a subjective improvement in the patient's appreciation of her visual ability.

CONCLUSIONS

The sports vision literature cites many examples in which sports vision training is useful in improving visuomotor and on-field performance. We hypothesized that these techniques may be used to aid not only athletes but also patients with low vision. Despite suffering from reduced acuity and a limited visual field, these patients often still have a significant amount of vision ability that can be used to guide motor actions. Using techniques to increase the efficient use of this remaining vision may reduce the impact of the reduced visual function and aid in activities of daily living.

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