Images used to educate public about AMD not realistic, says study

Posted: Monday 27 November 2017

Images used to educate the public about vision loss due to the leading causes of blindness are not fit for purpose, according to a new study from City, University of London.

The researchers found that the image commonly used to represent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects more than 600,000 people in the UK, did not provide a realistic representation of people’s experiences.

When people with the condition were asked about how their vision looks it was found that they instead provided a wide variety of descriptions. These ranged from blurring, to distortion and missing parts of the image, which were far more complete and varied than those implied by existing images, which just show a patch of distortion or blackness in central vision surrounded by a clear periphery.

As a result, the findings have significant ramifications for individuals, as it may lead to them misunderstanding the severity of their own condition and may in turn affect how people monitor their own disease progression.

The findings, which are published in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics