Glaucoma y capacidad de lectura

Generalmente, el glaucoma se describe como una enfermedad que afecta la visión periférica. Por lo tanto, no debería tener ningún efecto sobre la lectura, la principal tarea de la visión central, ¿verdad?

Glaucoma is generally described as a disease that affects peripheral vision. Therefore, it should have no effect on reading, the main task of central vision, right?

In fact, glaucoma does affect reading. Because? First, while glaucoma affects peripheral vision, it also affects central vision. Patients who have moderate or severe glaucoma often describe seeing through a haze that extends to their central vision. Because of this haze, people with glaucoma recognize fewer letters at a glance. Therefore, they must look at the text more times to finish reading a passage. The result is slower reading and particular difficulty with longer words.

Secondly, reading also involves the middle peripheral vision. For example, we use our field of vision when we move from the end of a line to the beginning of a new line of text, or when we search for information on a page to find specific details we want to know. Glaucoma patients have particular difficulty with these aspects of reading.

Although patients with glaucoma can read, it is more difficult for them. Over long periods of time, people with more severe glaucoma become tired, and their reading speed decreases. They also understand less what they read. Because of all these difficulties, people with glaucoma read less frequently. As a result, they may become less independent and more disconnected from the world.

So, as we continue to fight for treatments to restore vision, what can be done to make it easier for people with glaucoma to read? You can start by trying a few things on your own.

  • Increase text size when working on your computer or other electronic devices.
  • Use spot lighting when reading a book.
  • Consider reading on a tablet or other device that allows polarity reversal (white letters on a black background, instead of black letters on a white background).


These tips are not so easy to perfect on your own. So, if you have trouble reading and haven’t seen a vision rehabilitation specialist, ask your doctor for a referral. These professionals specialize in helping you live as functionally and independently as possible with the vision you have.

Pradeep Y. Ramulu, MD, PhD

Pradeep Y. Ramulu, MD, PhD

Dr. Pradeep Ramulu is Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins, and Chief of the Glaucoma Division at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute. His research is focused on how visual damage from glaucoma and other diseases affect the individual, and how we can maximize independence and safety for patients who have lost vision from glaucoma.