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Authors
Xu, Renfeng MD, PhD; Chelales, Erika MS; Rickert, Martin PhD; Muessel, Rachel OD; Meyer, Dawn OD; Thibos, Larry N. PhD, FAAO; Bradley, Arthur PhD; Kollbaum, Pete PhD, OD, FAAO

Small Text on Product Labels Poses a Special Challenge for Emerging Presbyopes

publication date
December 26, 2018
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

Approximately 10% of the lowercase text on nonprescription drug labels is smaller than the 1 mm required by the Food and Drug Administration. The small size, combined with the progressive decline in accommodative amplitude and gain, poses a reading challenge for middle-aged emerging presbyopes.

 

PURPOSE 

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of progressing presbyopia and near adds on the ability of middle-aged patients to read small text routinely encountered on product labels.

 

METHODS 

Geometrical optics was used to determine the impact of changing viewing distance, accommodation, and pupil size on retinal blur size. We photographed 261 consumer product labels in grocery, personal care, and nonprescription (over-the-counter) drug categories and used character recognition software to identify and size 255,298 printed letters. We computed the impact of viewing distance on the ratio of blur to letter detail and used published blur ratios of ≤4 and ≤2 to identify the conditions that allowed for letter recognition and proficient reading, respectively.


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

Median/mode lowercase letter heights (in millimeters) were 1.39/1.16, 1.29/1.15, and 1.18/1.01, respectively, for groceries, personal care, and over-the-counter drug categories. Despite the increased angular subtense of approaching letters, blur ratios generally increased with reduced viewing distance because of increased defocus. Increased viewing distance decreased blur, but small (e.g., 1 mm) letters became too small to read proficiently (angular size <10 arcminutes) for distances beyond 37 cm. With larger pupils, blur ratios were too large to support proficient reading when accommodative amplitude dropped to ≤3 diopters. An add power sufficient to bring the far point closer than 37 cm was required to proficiently read small text.

 

CONCLUSIONS 

Product labels, especially nonprescription drug packages, typically use fonts that are too small to be read proficiently by unaided emmetropes with emerging presbyopia. This problem can be ameliorated by correction of presbyopia at an earlier age and with higher add powers.


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I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


Claire A.

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Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.


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