Our work seeks to understand the effects vision impairment, evaluate rehabilitation strategies and interventions, and ultimately improve quality of life for people with low vision.
Driving Performance and Road Safety with Low Vision
In more than 40 US states, drivers who cannot meet vision standards with conventional optical correction are permitted to use bioptic telescopic spectacles (BTS) to obtain licensure. BTS consist of a small telescope mounted in the superior portion of a lens in a pair of spectacles. With a small downward head movement, a driver can access the telescope to view distant objects of interest. We are conducting studies of the visual and demographic factors that are associated with motor vehicle collisions, as well as studies of driving exposure and driving performance of bioptic drivers using a variety of approaches.
Stress, Depression, and Systemic Inflammation in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Treatment Outcomes
Findings from the field of psychoneuroimmunology have clearly demonstrated that stress and depression are related to increased levels of systemic inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), and other immune system dysfunction. Inflammation plays a key role in the pathology of AMD. Higher levels of CRP and the presence of the Y402H polymorphism are related to prevalence and progression of AMD. Patients may be particularly likely to experience stress and depression in the period immediately following new vision loss from neovascular AMD. Recent advances in treatment for AMD, specifically anti-VEGF injections, have shown promise in restoring vision, yet evidence remains that stress and depression are still marked in patients undergoing these treatments. The aims of this project are to test whether stress and depression in patients undergoing treatment for AMD are related to poorer treatment outcomes, whether this effect is mediated by CRP, and whether higher CRP and the Y402H polymorphism are related to poorer treatment outcomes.
Technological Approaches to Magnification for Reading and Mobility
There are a number of head-mounted video-based technologies that show promise for improving performance on valued tasks like reading for people with low vision. We are working on clinical testing of some of these devices to evaluate their usefulness in low vision rehabilitation and devise modifications to existing technology that can make the devices more useful.