How Your Ipad Could Improve Your EyesightAccording to a recent study, people suffering from poor central vision due to eye diseases may be able to regain some visual abilities. The study found that those who read from a tablet with a back-lit screen were able to read more quickly and comfortably than those who read from printed texts such as books and newspapers. Those with moderate visual impairments could increase their reading speed by 15 words-per-minute and every participant was found to read fastest on the digital tablet.

This research was presented by the Asia-Pacific Academy of Optalmology and the American Academy of Opthalmology at an annual meeting. It was conducted on the basis of the knowledge that millions of people around the world suffer from vision loss due to various conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which both affect the central vision. The retina functions as an essential part of the eye and is sensitive to images which are then relayed to the optic nerve and the brain. Whilst current treatments for eye diseases include eye drops, glasses and surgery, as an alternative, ophthalmologists now prescribe reading aids or lighted magnifiers. These act in a similar way to backlit tablet screens but are bulky and inconvenient to use.

The researchers even noticed a difference between brands of tablet. Of the 100 participants involved in the study, all volunteers gained at least 42 words-per-minute reading speed when using the iPad compared to when reading a newspaper or book. All subjects produced significantly less promising results when using the Kindle Touch tablet, with an improvement of 12 words-per-minute. However, all patients with poor vision affecting both eyes showed a noticeable improved when using a digital tablet compared to print.

It is believed that these positive results are due to the iPad’s backlit screen which helps to increase contrast sensitivity. Contrast sensitivity is the ability to see an object or word as separate from the background. For people with poor vision, contrast sensitivity is particularly difficult. The benefit of a backlit screen for reading is that it is easier to see words more distinctly.

Further to this, it was found that those with the poorest vision who participated in the study found the iPad more comfortable to read than print, whilst those with the best vision preferred the comfort of reading print. It is hoped that these results will be used to help ophthalmologists advise their patients as to which method could improve and aid their reading skills, and to help them gain a sense of independence.

Victoria writes for DirectSight, a reading glasses online supplier. Read more of Victoria's work for SEO Agency.