THURSDAY, Nov. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Dry eye seems to have a significant negative impact on prolonged reading, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in Optometry and Vision Science.

Sezen Karakus, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the impact of dry eye signs and symptoms on short-duration out-loud and prolonged silent reading. The authors assessed 116 patients with clinically significant dry eye, 39 patients with dry eye symptoms only, and 31 controls aged 50 years or older. The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire was administered and was followed by objective testing of dry eye.

The researchers found that compared with controls, patients with clinically significant dry eye read slower as measured by the sustained silent reading test (240 versus 272 words per minute [wpm]; P = 0.04) but not the short-duration out-loud reading test (146 versus 153 wpm; P = 0.47). Compared with controls, patients with dry eye symptoms only did not have slower reading speed using either reading test. There was an independent correlation for vision-related OSDI subscore with slower reading speed (P = 0.02). Each one-point increase in corneal staining score (between zero and six) was correlated with a 10-wpm decrease in sustained silent reading speed in multivariable regression models (P = 0.01).

“Dry eye, when surface staining is present, seems to have a major impact on reading, which could profoundly affect activities requiring prolonged reading function,” the authors write.

The study was partly funded by Allergan.

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