Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School report at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting in Chicago that digital tablets like iPads and Kindles improved reading speeds in patients with low vision.
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Conditions such as macular degeneration and vision problems due to diabetes can damage light-sensitive cells in the eye’s retina, which in turn compromises central vision. The retina, located in the back of the eye, processes light and images into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.
Damage to the retina, and in particular to the macular, or central portion, makes it difficult to decipher details and distinguish words on a page, and in most cases, ophthalmologists suggested that these patients use reading aids like expensive and bulky magnifiers with attached lights to ease reading tasks.
The study was made up of two experiments. In the first, 62 people read three articles from The New York Times in the print version of the newspaper, as computer printouts, and on an Apple iPad 2.