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Foroogh Shamsi, Rong Liu, MiYoung Kwon; Foveal crowding appears to be robust to normal aging and glaucoma unlike parafoveal and peripheral crowding. Journal of Vision 2022;22(8):10. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.8.10.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual crowding is the inability to recognize a target object in clutter. Previous studies have shown an increase in crowding in both parafoveal and peripheral vision in normal aging and glaucoma. Here, we ask whether there is any increase in foveal crowding in both normal aging and glaucomatous vision. Twenty-four patients with glaucoma and 24 age-matched normally sighted controls (mean age = 65 ± 7 vs. 60 ± 8 years old) participated in this study. For each subject, we measured the extent of foveal crowding using Pelli's foveal crowding paradigm (2016). We found that the average crowding zone was 0.061 degrees for glaucoma and 0.056 degrees for age-matched normal vision, respectively. These values fall into the range of foveal crowding zones (0.0125 degrees to 0.1 degrees) observed in young normal vision. We, however, did not find any evidence supporting increased foveal crowding in glaucoma (p = 0.375), at least in the early to moderate stages of glaucoma. In the light of previous studies on foveal crowding in normal young vision, we did not find any evidence supporting age-related changes in foveal crowding. Even if there is any, the effect appears to be rather inconsequential. Taken together, our findings suggest unlike parafoveal or peripheral crowding (2 degrees, 4 degrees, 8 degrees, and 10 degrees eccentricities), foveal crowding (<0.25 degrees eccentricity) appears to be less vulnerable to normal aging or moderate glaucomatous damage.
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