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Length of eyeball affects accuracy of Macular Degeneration diagnosis

A new study conducted by Korean researchers finds that the axial length of a patient's eye may affect the accuracy of evaluation for macular disease. The axial length of the eye is the distance between the anterior and posterior poles of the eye. The study was published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry. Researchers investigated associations between refractive error/axial length and macular thickness in 336 health men with an average age being 21 years old with no retinal abnormalities other than myopic peripapillary atrophy to assess whether age affected myopic changes in the macula. The participants were divided into three groups based upon their spherical equivalent and axial length. When the researchers compared the macular thickness/volumes of the three groups, those with greater axial length had thinner average macula, thinner inner and outer macula, thicker fovea and lower macular volume, which they determined could cause false-positive diagnoses for macular disease with foveal thickening. As a result, the researchers say that the effect of magnification on OCT macular measurements should be taken into consideration when evaluating patients who are nearsighted.

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