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Thesis

Differences in contrast sensitivity between pre- and post-operative LASIK patients

1 May 2000

Abstract

LASIK is currently the most common refractive surgery performed in the U.S. Traditionally the success and outcome of LASIK is assessed by using a high contrast Snellen chart. This provides limited information since our environment is composed of varying contrasts. Evaluating contrast sensitivity provides a more functional assessment of overall visual ability after LASIK. However, there is little information concerning this subject. This study further investigated the effect ofLASIK on contrast sensitivity. Preoperative and 5 and 10 week postoperative contrast sensitivity measurements were taken on 28 eyes of 14 subjects who underwent bilateral LASIK. The spatial frequencies of 1.5, 6.0, 12.0, and 30.0 cpd were tested. There was no statistically significant decrease in contrast sensitivity at the 1.5, 12.0, and 30.0 cpd between preoperative and the 5 week postoperative exam. There was a statistically significant decrease at the 6.0 cpd spatial frequency at 5 weeks post LASIK. By 10 weeks after LASIK, this decrease was no longer statistically significant. There was no statistically significant decrease in contrast sensitivity at the 1.5, 12.0, and 30.0 cpd from the preoperative through to the 10-week postoperative exam. Further research needs to be performed in order to determine the cause of any decrease in contrast sensitivity after LASIK surgery.


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