Glaucoma, a common eye condition capable of damaging the optic nerve and resulting in loss of vision, may be linked to slower spoken reading and increased reading impairment in older adults, reveals a new study.
The study was carried out by Pradeep Y. Ramulu, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University.
The research, published in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, examined 1,154 individuals, within an average age bracket of 79.7, to observe the relationship between glaucoma and spoken reading speed.
Partakers had been asked to read out loud the non-scrolling text, while their Glaucoma status was reached by monitoring their visual fields, optic nerve images, medical records and demographic information.
Experts then classified participants reading slower than 90 words per minute as having impairment.
While a total of 1,017 participants, 95.6 percent, were away from glaucoma, an extra 73 had unilateral glaucoma (glaucoma in one eye) as compared to those 64 who had bilateral glaucoma (glaucoma in both eyes).
The authors wrote: "Univariate analysis demonstrated reading impairment in 16 percent of subjects without glaucoma, 21.1 percent of subjects with unilateral glaucoma and 28.4 percent of subjects with bilateral glaucoma,"
"Subjects with unilateral glaucoma showed similar reading speeds and odds of reading impairment when compared with subjects without glaucoma.
"Subjects with bilateral glaucoma read 29 words per minute slower than those without glaucoma and had roughly twice the odds of reading impairment."
The boffins added: "Lower levels of education were associated with slower reading speeds, and race persisted as a significant predictor of reading speed even after adjusting for education."