An account is given of work done by Professor Dr, med.J.Otto and by orthoptists and students as observed by the author during an eight weeks visit to the East Switzerland Pleoptic and Orthoptic School (OPOS).
People having damage to the central retina due to organic lesions, for example macular degeneration, are likely to adopt eccentric fixation, which seriously disrupts their orientation in space. In many cases there are still undamaged areas or “islets” on the macula which can be utilised for central fixation. Patients are given a course of “visual retraining” exercises by which central fixation and correct orientation are re-established.
In every case observed there was an improvement in visual acuity and spatial orientation when exercises were given. The results however were not permanent if the retina further deteriorated due to the nature of the disease.