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Anthony Fernandes, Daniel Roth, Ankit Shah, Howard Fine, Jonathan Prenner, William Feuer; Novel Methods to Enhance Reading Ability in Patients with Macular Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6527.
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To evaluate the ability of back illuminated devices and/or magnifying glasses to enhance reading acuity and reading speed in patients with compromised visual acuity and/or complaints of difficulty with reading tasks.
75 patients with a distance visual acuity ranging from 20/30 to 20/400 in either eye, were tested on the Rosenbaum Near vision card, using their own personal reading glasses, a pair of over-the-counter +3 or +4 readers, and magnification glasses. This testing was repeated with the standardized Near Vision chart on the iPhone. Reading speed was then tested using patients’ own reading spectacles. They were randomly assigned one article from the newspaper-printed version of The New York Times, another article from the same day printed from the on-line version of The New York Times, and a third article from the iPad2 version of The New York Times. Reading speed was calculated in WPM (words per minute). The reading acuity and reading speed were correlated with the visual acuity, presence or absence of macular disease, as well as the specific type of macular disease.
Near Vision acuity was best with OTC (over the counter) reading glasses (p=0.025). Near reading on the iPhone Near Vision chart improved patient reading ability with their own reading Rx by a mean LogMAR of 0.11 or approximately 1 line and improved reading with OTC reading glasses by a mean LogMAR of 0.07 (both p < 0.001). Worse Distance Visual Acuity logMAR was associated with a greater improvement with the iPhone near vision chart, r=0.443 (p < 0.001). Diagnosis of AMD was associated with a greater improvement in reading on the iPhone (p=0.05). Moderate cataract was not associated with more or less improvement in reading on the iPhone in this cohort of patients with retinal disease. Reading speed was 114.4 WPM for newspaper, 118.4 WPM for Print, and 127.8 WPM for iPad2. Printed material was read more quickly than newspaper (p=0.02) but iPad2 was read more quickly than either newspaper or print (p < 0.001). Patient’s reading speed increased significantly on the iPad2 when the font was magnified to 18 point.
Back illuminated devices may offer a significant advantage to aid patients with reduced visual acuity function better and read with less difficulty.
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