Clin Exp Optom - (-) 1-8 [2023-05-18; online 2023-05-18]
Vision-related problems can be part of longstanding sequelae after COVID-19 and hamper the return to work and daily activities. Knowledge about symptoms, visual, and oculomotor dysfunctions is however scarce, particularly for non-hospitalised patients. Clinically applicable tools are needed as support in the assessment and determination of intervention needs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vision-related symptoms, assess visual and oculomotor function, and to test the clinical assessment of saccadic eye movements and sensitivity to visual motion in non-hospitalised post-COVID-19 outpatients. The patients (n = 38) in this observational cohort study were recruited from a post-COVID-19 clinic and had been referred for neurocognitive assessment. Patients who reported vision-related symptoms reading problems and intolerance to movement in the environment were examined. A structured symptom assessment and a comprehensive vision examination were undertaken, and saccadic eye movements and visual motion sensitivity were assessed. High symptom scores (26-60%) and prevalence of visual function impairments were observed. An increased symptom score when reading was associated with less efficient saccadic eye movement behaviour (p < 0.001) and binocular dysfunction (p = 0.029). Patients with severe symptoms in visually busy places scored significantly higher on the Visual Motion Sensitivity Clinical Test Protocol (p = 0.029). Vision-related symptoms and impairments were prevalent in the study group. The Developmental Eye Movement Test and the Visual Motion Sensitivity Clinical Test Protocol showed promise for clinical assessment of saccadic performance and sensitivity to movement in the environment. Further study will be required to explore the utility of these tools.