Contrast Sensitivity Testing
Patients with cataracts may experience diminished contrast sensitivity even when Snellen acuity is preserved. Various specialized charts have been developed to test contrast sensitivity in the ophthalmologist’s office. Some charts are mounted on a wall; others are handheld or incorporate the use of a monitor. Certain contrast sensitivity charts feature sine wave gratings to allow evaluation of different spatial frequencies. However, no instrument is currently considered the standard for contrast sensitivity testing. Of note, contrast sensitivity may be decreased by a wide variety of ophthalmic conditions affecting the cornea, optic nerve, and retina. It is therefore essential that the ophthalmologist identify any comorbidities before attributing an irregularity in test results solely to cataract.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 11 - Lens and Cataract. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.