Glaucoma and Reading Ability
In fact, glaucoma does affect reading. Why? First, while glaucoma affects peripheral vision, it also affects central vision. Patients who have moderate or severe glaucoma often describe seeing through a haze that extends into their central vision. Because of this haze, people with glaucoma recognize fewer letters at a glance. Therefore, they must look at the text more times to finish reading a passage. The result is slower reading and particular difficulty with longer words.
Secondly, reading also involves the average peripheral vision. For example, we use our field of vision when we move from the end of a line to the beginning of a new line of text, or when we search for information on a page to find the specific details we want to know. Patients with glaucoma have particular difficulty with these aspects of reading.
Although patients with glaucoma can read, they find it more difficult. Over long periods of time, people with more severe glaucoma become tired, and their reading speed decreases. They also understand less of what they read. Because of all these difficulties, people with glaucoma read less often. As a result, they may become less independent and more disconnected from the world.
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