THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The way people read changes as they age and helps explain why seniors have trouble reading fine print, a new study says.
Researchers at the University of Leicester in England measured eye movements in young adults (ages 18 to 30) and seniors (65 and older) as they read lines of text that were digitally manipulated in different ways. For example, sometimes the text was blurred and sometimes the features of individual letters were sharply defined.
Young adults found it easier to read the lines of text when fine visual detail was present, but seniors found it easier to read more blurred text, according to the study, recently published in the journal Psychology and Aging.
These results support the theory that older adults use a different reading strategy than younger adults and that they rely more on general cues, such as word shape, to discern the identities of words, the researchers said.
They added that their findings could lead to new ways to combat reading problems in seniors.
"The findings showed that the difficulty older readers often experience is likely to be related to a progressive decline in visual sensitivity, particularly for visual detail, due to optical changes and changes in neural transmission even in individuals with apparently normal vision," study author Kevin Paterson said in a university news release.
"However, the findings also showed that older readers comprehended text just as accurately as younger readers," he added. "Consequently, although normal aging clearly leads to important changes in reading behavior, it seems that adaptive responses to the changing nature of the visual input may help older adults to read and understand text efficiently well into later life."
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about aging and your eyes.
SOURCE: University of Leicester, news release, Nov. 22, 2012
live longer and age well
The diet that can help you live long and well, fight disease, boost immunity, strengthen bones, lubricate joints and make you feel better overall.
Find out the most important tests, tips and more for women of all ages
Find out the symptoms of osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis, and what you can do to help thinning bones.
Wouldn't it be nice to feel 21 again?
Give your body a good once-over to see if trouble may be lurking.
These little tweaks make life great now and could buy you time, say SELF's medical advisor, Henry Lodge, M.D.
Ditching cigs adds a decade to your life—this, plus other ways to live longer
Keep your mind razor-sharp and body finely honed with these 11 anti-aging drinks.