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Women’s eyesight could be suffering because they hold books too closely

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UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 25 June 2012

If you’re a woman who always has her nose in a book don’t hold it so close – it could weaken your eyesight.

Women tend to hold reading material closer to their eyes than men and this may be why they need reading glasses earlier, a study has suggested.

The researchers found no difference in the ability of men and women to focus on objects at near distance.

Deteriorating: Women's eyesight could be suffering because they hold reading material too close to their face

Deteriorating: Women's eyesight could be suffering because they hold reading material too close to their face

This suggests that the reason women
need bifocals earlier may be down to other factors, including having
shorter arms, which means they hold things closer, raising their odds of
things appearing blurred as they age.

Writing in the journal Investigative
Ophthalmology and Visual Science, scientists from the University of
California said women’s need for reading glasses earlier was ‘likely due
to differences in preferred reading distances or arm length as women
tend to hold reading materials closer than men do.’

The researchers were studying presbyopia – the loss of near vision that occurs with age.

Study: Researchers studying presbyopia discovered the anomaly while trying to isolate reasons for the loss of near vision

Study: Researchers studying presbyopia discovered the anomaly while trying to isolate reasons for the loss of near vision

The deterioration results from the
stiffening of the eyeball’s lens, which makes zooming in on close
objects more difficult, leading to blurred vision and the need for
reading glasses.

The researchers added: ‘These findings could impact global vision care in multiple ways.

‘The findings reinforce the need for
presbyopia correction programmes for women – a group that often has
greater unmet vision needs in developing countries.

‘It also points out that presbyopia is a multi-faceted problem and requires solutions that are tailored to each individual.’


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