The influence of reading direction on hemianopic reading disorders.
de Jong D., Kaufmann-Ezra S., Meichtry JR., von Arx S., Cazzoli D., Gutbrod K., Müri RM.
UNLABELLED: Hemianopic reading impairment is a consequence of a visual field defect to either the right or the left side and is characterized by an increased reading time and reduced reading performance. Depending on the side of the visual field defect, reading will be affected differently: Patients suffering from a visual field defect to the right side have noticeable difficulties in reading fluently with slowing. Patients suffering from a visual field defect to the left usually struggle to find the beginning of a line and read more fluently. It was suggested in the literature that changing the reading direction from horizontal to vertical may be a training strategy to reduce reading problems in patients with hemianopia. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of reading direction on reading speed in patients with left- or right-sided visual field defects and in healthy controls. METHOD: In 13 patients with hemianopia and in 13 age-matched controls, reading speed was calculated for texts in standard as well as in clockwise rotated orientation of 90, 180, and 270°. RESULTS: In both groups, text rotation reduced reading speed compared to standard reading. Patients with left-sided hemianopia had the greatest reduction after text rotation. Patients with right-sided hemianopia had the smallest speed reduction in 90° vertically rotated texts. CONCLUSIONS: Text rotation has different effects in left- or right-sided hemianopia patients. For patients with left-sided heminanopia, rotation of the text may not be a helpful training strategy, for right-sided hemianopia vertical rotation of the text of 90° may be a beneficial training strategy to reduce reading deficits.