6 For Your Health

Tablet PC's & Vision

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Updated: 11/12/2012 8:51 pm

In today's 6 For Your Health headlines... the latest medical advice for people with macular degeneration. Get to an eye doctor... and then get an iPad. Erika Edwards explains why.

Electronic tablets -- like the iPad -- may help improve reading ability for people with macular degeneration and similar vision problems.

Daniel Roth, M.D. - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School: "It doesn't make the blind see, but it just makes it more comfortable, gives a little edge."

Dr. Daniel Roth of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey explains that the macula is the part of the eye we use when we look at something directly to read it.

But this is what the world can look like with a damaged macula -- a big hole in the field of vision. Reading is extremely difficult.

Dr. Daniel Roth: "The patients would often complain that they don't have enough light and they would try and get better lighting in the room and try to get more light on the page."

Because electronic tablets are back-lit -- the light comes directly from the source. Users can increase the font size, and adjust the contrast and brightness to sharpen letters and images.

Compared with reading a book or newspaper...

Dr. Daniel Roth: "The iPad had at least a 15 words per minute increased reading speed which is significant."

While using electronic devices too much may lead to tired eyes, many experts say there's no evidence that reading from screens can damage eyes further.

Patients in the study had reading success when the font size was increased from 12 to 18.

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