PURPOSE We evaluated the impact of glaucoma-related vision loss on reading ability and reading engagement in 10 reading activities.
METHODS A total of 63 glaucoma patients and 59 glaucoma suspect controls self-rated their level of reading difficulty for 10 reading items, and responses were analyzed using Rasch analysis to determine reading ability. Reading engagement was assessed by asking subjects to report the number of days per week they engaged in each reading activity. Reading restriction was determined as a decrement in engagement.
RESULTS Glaucoma subjects more often described greater reading difficulty than controls for all tasks except puzzles (P < 0.05). The most difficult reading tasks involved puzzles, books, and finances, while the least difficult reading tasks involved notes, bills, and mail. In multivariable weighted least squares regression models of Rasch-estimated person measures of reading ability, less reading ability was found for glaucoma patients compared to controls (β = -1.60 logits, P < 0.001). Among glaucoma patients, less reading ability was associated with more severe visual field (VF) loss (β = -0.68 logits per 5-dB decrement in better-eye VF mean deviation [MD], P < 0.001) and contrast sensitivity (β = -0.76 logits per 0.1-unit lower log CS, P 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS Glaucoma patients have less reading ability and engage less in a variety of different reading activities, particularly those requiring sustained reading. Future work should evaluate the mechanisms underlying reading disability in glaucoma to determine how patients can maintain reading ability and engagement.
Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.