Functional impairment of reading in patients with dry eye

Priya Mathews, Pradeep Ramulu, Bonnielin Swenor, Canan A. Utine, Gary S. Rubin, Esen K Akpek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background/aims To evaluate the impact of dry eye on reading performance. Methods Out-loud and silent reading in patients with clinically significant dry eye (n=41) and controls (n=50) was evaluated using standardised texts. Dry eye measures included tear film break-up time, Schirmer's test and corneal epithelial staining. Symptoms were assessed by the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). Results The dry eye group had a greater proportion of women as compared with the control group but did not differ in age, race, education level or visual acuity (p=0.05 for all). Out-loud reading speed averaged 148 words per minute (wpm) in dry eye subjects and 163 wpm in controls (p=0.006). Prolonged silent reading speed averaged 199 wpm in dry eye subjects versus 226 wpm in controls (p=0.03). In multivariable regression models, out-loud and sustained silent reading speeds were 10 wpm (95% CI -20 to -1 wpm, p=0.039) and 14% (95% CI -25% to -2%, p=0.032) slower, respectively, in dry eye subjects as compared with controls. Greater corneal staining was associated with slower out-loud (-2 wpm/1 unit increase in staining score, 95% CI =-3 to -0.3 wpm) and silent (-2%, 95% CI -4 to -0.6 wpm) reading speeds (p

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 22 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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