Glaucoma Linked to Slower Reading, Reading Impairment

Effect of disease on reading speed is significant with advanced bilateral field loss

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults with advanced bilateral field loss, glaucoma is associated with slower reading and increased reading impairment, according to research published in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Pradeep Y. Ramulu, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues used data from the Salisbury Eye Evaluation study to assess spoken reading speed and glaucoma status in 1,154 elderly subjects.

The researchers found that reading impairment rates were significantly higher among subjects with either unilateral or bilateral glaucoma (21.1 percent and 28.4 percent, respectively) than in subjects without glaucoma (16 percent). But their regression analyses showed no significant impact of glaucoma on spoken reading speed until the disease was bilateral with severe visual field loss.

"These data from a population-based, elderly sample demonstrate high overall rates of reading impairment, with one in eight white subjects and one in three African American subjects having impaired reading," the authors conclude. "Future work should evaluate reading in subjects with glaucoma under more realistic conditions to further explore if reading impairment is more prevalent than reported herein."

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