An iPad app as a low-visual aid for people with macular disease

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the single most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 501. Individuals with low vision caused by macular disease, experience severe difficulty with everyday tasks such as reading2, which has profound detrimental consequences for their quality of life3. We have developed an app for the iPad (the MD evReader) that aims to improve reading (of electronic books) by enhancing the effectiveness of the eccentric viewing technique (EV) using dynamic text presentation. Eccentric viewing is a simple strategy adopted by individuals with AMD that involves using the relatively preserved peripheral region of their retina in order to see. A limiting factor of the EV technique is that it relies on the individual holding their gaze away from the focus of interest and suppressing the natural and strong, tendency to make eye-movements (saccades). During normal reading, for example, a stereotypical pattern of horizontal saccades are made, from left-to-right, enabling fixations to be made on each word4 – Figure 1a). The natural inclination to make saccades is, however, difficult to suppress and limits the effectiveness of eccentric viewing in people with macular disease.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Macular Disease, Reading, iPad, eccentric viewing, saccade

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