Authors
BOWERS, ALEX PhD, MCOptom; CHEONG, ALLEN M. Y. PhD, BSc(Optom); LOVIE-KITCHIN, JAN E. PhD, MScOptom, LOSc, FAAO

Reading With Optical Magnifiers: Page Navigation Strategies and Difficulties

publication date
September 20, 2006
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose

To read efficiently with a simple hand or stand magnifier, people with visual impairment have to move (navigate) the device along each line (forward phase) and back to the correct position at the start of the next line (retrace phase). Page navigation difficulties have been implicated as limiting factors when reading with hand and stand magnifiers, but have not been objectively measured.

 

Methods

Magnifier movements were recorded using a 3SPACE Isotrak system for 43 participants with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who read two short stories using their habitual hand or stand magnifier. Page navigation was quantified in terms of magnifier movements and navigation errors for the forward and retrace phases. Visual acuities and visual fields were measured, and magnifier usage and page navigation difficulties were surveyed.


Conclusion/Results

Results

During the forward phase, participants primarily used either a straight (47%) or diagonal downward (46%) movement, whereas during the retrace phase, the majority (56%) used a downward movement. On average, forward navigation time was four times longer than retrace navigation time (p < 0.001). The most common navigation error was incorrect positioning of the magnifier at the end of the retrace movement. Near word acuity correlated strongly with forward time (r = 0.78), and moderately with retrace time (r = 0.53) and forward errors (r = 0.50). Vertical field of view correlated with retrace errors (r = −0.53). Participants’ estimates of page navigation difficulties were not predictive of objective measures of performance.

 

Conclusions

We quantified page navigation strategies and difficulties of people with AMD reading with magnifiers. Retrace, which presents the most common difficulty, is not well predicted by vision measures or magnifier characteristics; future studies should investigate the relationship between motor skills and navigation performance, and the impact of training or devices on reducing retrace navigation difficulties.


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Testimonials


My eight year old daughter was terrified to go to the eye doctor for fear of her eyes being dilated. The doctor was SO KID friendly! He immediately made her comfortable by engaging her in conversation. It was a geat experience.


Joya B.

Dr. Garbus spent an amazing amount of time to solve my very complicated visual problems. Over the years he has continually achieved results beyond what others felt possible. He is always up to date on the latest science. He is great!


Dolores K.

Family Vision Care Valencia makes it so easy. Staff is knows what they are doing and Dr. Garbus is thorough and kept me well informed during the exam.


Kristy B.

I have been coming to Family Vision Center for almost 20 years. Dr. Garbus has been able to help my vision when other doctors could not. Now my kids see him as well. I highly recommend this office!


Autumn C.

The Doctor is very good. I felt on this visit he seemed rushed. I had questions to ask him but he was already with another patient. I still do not know if my eyes are the same , worse, or better.


Howard B.

All the staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and has been for all the years I have been going there.


Mary Ann H.
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