This study determined the impact of visual disabilities caused by glaucoma on the patient's everyday life and emphasized the importance of developing strategies to improve reading ability in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients.
The purposes of this study were to investigate the reading performances of patients affected by POAG using the Italian version of the Radner Reading Charts and to test the presence of correlation between visual field (VF) damage and reading parameters.
In this cross-sectional observational study, all patients underwent a complete ophthalmic evaluation including VF testing and evaluation of reading performance using the Radner Reading Charts. The parameters for testing reading performance were reading acuity in logRAD, reading speed in words per minute, maximum reading speed, critical print size, and reading mistakes. Primary open-angle glaucoma and healthy groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. The correlation between VF and reading parameters in glaucomatous eyes was assessed using Spearman correlation analysis. Based on VF mean deviation, each POAG patient had differences in reading performance between his/her best and worst eyes when compared using the paired Wilcoxon test. Statistical significance was set at P ≤ .05.
Eighty POAG patients and 60 healthy controls were enrolled. Glaucomatous subjects read slowly (166.63 ± 29.40 vs. 193.84 ± 26.20 words per minute, P < .0001) and made more mistakes than did healthy subjects. The critical print size for POAG patients was larger than the one for controls (0.52 ± 0.18 vs. 0.62 ± 0.16, P < .0001). Reading parameters showed a moderate correlation with VF mean deviation. The reading parameters were significantly impaired in the worst eye, and this result confirms the impact of VF loss on reading ability.
This study demonstrated that glaucomatous patients read slowly and with more errors. Reading performances showed a good correlation with VF defect.