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Is arm length the reason women need reading glasses sooner than men?
Date:6/22/2012

Rockville, Md. Studies have consistently reported that women require reading glasses or bifocal lenses earlier than men. According to a recent Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science paper, the gender difference is caused by factors other than focusing ability, such as arm length or preferred reading distance, which should be considered when prescribing readers or bifocals.

The new evidence was found by a team of researchers who performed a meta-analysis using nine cross-sectional studies to compare the prevalence and magnitude of presbyopia commonly described as the loss of near vision that occurs with age among men and women. The researchers further subdivided the analysis to determine what differences in presbyopia might exist between men and women.

The new evidence was found by a team of researchers who performed a meta-analysis using nine cross-sectional studies to compare the prevalence and magnitude of presbyopia commonly described as the loss of near vision that occurs with age among men and women. The researchers further subdivided the analysis to determine what differences in presbyopia might exist between men and women.

While the results of a subgroup of studies showed that there was no significant gender-related difference in the eye's ability to focus clearly on objects at near distances, the overall analysis provided evidence that women have a need for higher power reading glasses or bifocals than men of an equivalent age. According to the researchers, this discrepancy is likely due to differences in preferred reading distances or arm length as women tend to hold reading materials closer than men do.

"These findings could impact global vision care in multiple ways," said Hickenbotham. "The findings reinforce the need for presbyopia correction programs for women a group that often has greater unmet vision needs in developing countries. It also points out that presbyopia is a multi-factorial pr
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Contact: Katrina Norfleet
knorfleet@arvo.org
240-221-2924
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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