Seniors Struggle To Read Fine Print, New Research Shows

Some seniors have a tough time reading fine print, but researchers have long attributed this to declining eyesight.

But new research points to a different reason. The way we view fine print changes as we age, researchers say, and this affects all people, not just those whose eyesight has declined.

A team of psychologists from the University of Leicester in Great Britain tracked eye-movement among a wide age range of people who were reading fonts of varying sizes and sharpness levels.

The team found that adults age 18-30 found it easiest to read text where “fine visual detail was present.” Adults age 65 and older found it easier to read more blurred text and tended to rely more on contextual clues such as the overall shape of the word.

“… older readers often experience (difficulty) … even in individuals with apparently normal vision,” said Dr Kevin Paterson, one of the researchers. His team published its findings in the peer-reviewed journal Psychology and Aging.

The research indicates that all older people – not just those with diminished eyesight– may read fine print differently than younger adults.

“The fact that people have greater difficulty in reading as they get older limits their ability to engage in everyday activities … (such as reading) a utility bill or the instructions on a medicine bottle,” Patterson said.

It also means older people may have a harder time reading the fine print on a bill, even if they have 20/20 vision.

That’s just another reason why they may want to monitor their credit and debit cards with BillGuard. People can register up to three cards for free.

Source: Science Daily