Original Research

Reading rate of low vision children using optical devices: A pilot study

Urvashni Nirghin
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a854 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.854 | © 2023 Urvashni Nirghin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2023 | Published: 26 October 2023

About the author(s)

Urvashni Nirghin, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Visual impairment in children negatively impacts their learning ability compared with their normally sighted peers and the use of optical devices may in turn assist the learner in their educational pursuit.

Aim: To determine the reading rate of children with low vision, with and without the use of optical devices.

Setting: The study was conducted at an eye clinic in KwaZulu-Natal.

Method: A pilot study was conducted on 15 children with low vision, aged between 6 years and 19 years (mean = 13.86 ± 3.34 years). Reading rate was assessed at near, using the English Paediatric Rate of Reading Test, and evaluated with and without the use of optical devices.

Results: The mean reading rates were 59.32 word per minute (wpm) ± 24.08 wpm and 67.04 wpm ± 25.63 wpm without and with the optical device, respectively (p = 0.087).

Conclusion: While this was a pilot study having implications on statistical significance, the results indicated an improvement in reading rate with optical devices compared with without.

Contribution: Vision is integral for the efficient performance of daily tasks. Improved reading performance relates to a happier child despite their visual limitations, hence managing low vision effectively impacts scholarly progression as well as quality of life including physical, mental and social well-being of the child.


Keywords

vision; impairment; reading; rate; low vision; optical; devices.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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