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Dianne Lam, Luminita Tarita-Nistor, Michael H. Brent, Martin J. Steinbach, Esther G. González; Reading with normal vision and with age-related macular degeneration. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):510. doi: 10.1167/11.11.510.
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Purpose: Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may read with their peripheral retina. Due to crowding effects and poor ocular motor control, these patients may benefit from larger spacing between the letters and from serif type-fonts. In this research we tested the influence of four common type-fonts on reading performance in people with normal vision and in patients with AMD.
Method: Four versions of the MNRead charts were tested on 24 people with normal vision and 19 patients with AMD. The charts were printed using common type-fonts: 1) Times New Roman (proportional spaced, serif), 2) Courier (mono-spaced, serif), 3) Arial (proportional spaced, sans serif), and 4) Andale Mono (mono-spaced, sans serif). Binocular visual acuity was measured with ETDRS.
Results: People with normal vision read best on the Andale Mono chart. On this chart, the largest proportion of people (83%) read the full sentence at the smallest print size (20/13). They also had the best reading acuity (−0.17 ± 0.05 logMAR), critical print size (0.05 ± 0.11 logMAR), and maximum reading speed (233.06 ± 41.69 wpm). However, on the Times New Roman chart, people with normal vision performed worst in all measures. Patients with AMD read more lines on the Courier chart than on any other charts. On this chart, these patients yielded the best reading acuity (0.56 ± 0.17 logMAR), critical print size (0.70 ± 0.20 logMAR), and second largest maximum reading speed (104.22 ± 61.43 wpm). Patients read fastest on Andale Mono charts (107.12 ± 56.57 wpm). In contrast, on the Arial chart, patients with AMD did the worst.
Conclusion: Reading performance of people with normal vision is best on a mono-spaced sans-serif font, while that of patients with AMD is better on a type-font that is mono-spaced and serif.
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