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Suzanne van Landingham, Sheila West, Esen Akpek, Beatriz Munoz, Pradeep Ramulu; Impact of dry eye on reading in a population based sample of the elderly: the Salisbury Eye Evaluation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4347.
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To determine if dry eye is associated with perceived or objective reading deficits.
A cross-sectional study. Dry eye symptoms were identified based on a positive response to any of six symptom questions, while clinically significant dry eye was identified based on the presence of dry eye symptoms and a positive Schirmer or Rose Bengal test in either eye. Spoken reading speed was measured using short text passages. Subjects self-reported if they did not read, or had difficulty reading, newsprint.
Multivariable models showed no difference in reading speed between subjects with and without dry eye symptoms (β=-0.55 wpm, 95% confidence interval [CI]=-6.8-5.1, p=0.85), or between subjects with clinically significant dry eye and subjects without dry eye signs or symptoms (β=-5 wpm, 95% CI=-16 to 5, p=0.35). Multivariable modeling also showed that, compared to asymptomatic subjects, subjects with dry eye symptoms were more likely to report reading difficulty (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.3-2.4, p<0.01) and not reading newsprint (OR=2.0, 95% CI=1.1-3.7, p<0.01). Similarly, subjects with clinically significant dry eye were more likely to report difficulty reading (OR=2.6, 95% CI=1.5-4.5, p<0.01) or not reading newsprint at all (OR=3.9, 95% CI=1.6-9.5, p<0.01) as compared to subjects without dry eye signs or symptoms.
Dry eye did not significantly affect spoken reading speed but was associated with self-reported reading difficulty and avoidance of newspaper reading in this elderly population-based sample. Further study is needed to understand the relationship between dry eye symptoms and perceived reading difficulty.
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