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Richard Macleod, Christian Sundstrom, Endri Angjeli, John David Rodriguez, George W Ousler, Keith Jeffrey Lane, David A Hollander; Blink Location during Reading and its Relationship to Reading Errors and Reading Rate in Normal Subjects. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2681.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We have previously shown that blink rate, blink patterns, and reading rate can differentiate dry eye from normals. In the present study, we aimed to identify whether the timing of blink to its location in a given sentence can impact reading (rate and errors) in normal subjects and whether there were correlations to ocular symptoms of discomfort.
15 normal subjects were video-recorded while reading passages from the iRest and Wilkins reading tests. Videos were analyzed for number and location of blinks and reading errors based on blink occurrence in the beginning of a sentence (first 1/3), mid-sentence (second 1/3), or end of sentence (final 1/3) for the iRest test, and beginning (words 1, 2) , middle (words 3-13) and end (words 14, 15) of line for the Wilkins test. Blink and reading error data were expressed as relative frequency percentages and compared to examine the role of blink location within a sentence on reading rate and accuracy. Symptoms (discomfort) data (Ora Calibra 0-4 Scales) and overall blink rate were also recorded.
In both the iRest and Wilkins tests, blinks were found to occur more frequently at the end of a sentence/line than the beginning. With the iRest test, the highest frequency of errors occurred in longer sentences, although errors were relatively evenly distributed within short and long sentences, as opposed to being in the final third when blink frequency was highest. There was no significant correlation between reading rate and number of blinks (r = -0.074, p = 0.793), or reading rate and number of errors (r = -0.290, p = 0.294). Number of blinks was found to positively correlate with ocular discomfort symptom sum (r = 0.73, p = 0.001) in the iRest test.
In normals, we were unable to establish a relationship between blink location within a sentence and reading rate/accuracy. The fact that number of blinks during the reading test correlated with ocular discomfort still suggests that future study of blink location during reading may be warranted in dry eye subjects to better understand the underlying cause of their reading disturbance. Additional testing of longer reading duration might also reveal differences between normal and DED subjects.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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