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Age-related changes in baseline reading acuity and speed as measured using RADNER Reading Charts in healthy eyes with best corrected ETDRS distance acuity
  1. Wolfgang Radner1,
  2. Thomas Benesch2
  1. 1Austrian Academy of Ophthalmology, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Professor Wolfgang Radner, Austrian Academy of Ophthalmology, Vienna 1180, Austria; wolfgang.radner{at}


Purpose To assess age-related differences in baseline measures of reading performance obtained from the RADNER Reading Charts in healthy eyes with best corrected (ETDRS) distance acuity.

Methods Cross-sectional study of participants (n=200) aged 25–74 years (n=20 per 5 years age group). Best corrected distance visual acuity was measured monocularly with ETDRS 2000 Charts. Reading performance was evaluated binocularly with the RADNER Reading Charts. Reading acuity (RA), reading acuity score (RA score), mean reading speed (MEAN-RS), maximum reading speed, reading speed with a long paragraph, critical print size (CPS) and the logMAR/logRAD ratio were analysed.

Results RA, RA score, CPS-1 (last logRAD with normal reading speed) and ETDRS acuity did not change significantly between age 25 and 54 years. Overall, the mean RA was −0.091±0.07 logRAD, and the RA score was −0.069±0.07 logRAD. The mean difference between the RA and best ETDRS acuity was 0.0603±0.055 logMAR (r=0.62; p<0.05). The logMAR/logRAD ratio was 87.75%±11.23%. The MEAN-RS ranged from 189±21.9 words per minute (wpm) for the group aged 70–74 years to 236±22.5 wpm for the group aged 40–44 years and correlated well with the long paragraph results (r=0.87).

Conclusion Best corrected RA, reading speed and ETDRS distance acuity were constant until the age of 54 years. An age-related break point was found between the groups aged 50–54 years and 55–59 years; for reading speed, the break point can be assumed to be within the age range of 50–54 years.

  • RADNER reading
  • reading acuity
  • reading speed
  • reading performance
  • sentence optotypes
  • reading charts
  • normal vision
  • adults
  • reading centre
  • functional vision
  • baseline measures

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  • Contributors WR serves as the corresponding author. Both WR and TB made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work as well as the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data. They were involved in drafting the work, revised it critically for important intellectual content and approved the version to be published. They agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests WR receives royalties for the RADNER Reading Charts.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethics committee of the city of Vienna.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no additional unpublished data available.

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