Deaf people "have better peripheral vision"

Deaf people "have better peripheral vision"

People who were born deaf have better peripheral vision than hearing people once they reach adulthood, according to a new study.

The report, funded by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), tested profoundly deaf children aged between five and 15 years using a self-designed visual field test, and compared this to age-matched hearing controls as well as to deaf and hearing adult data.

Experts found that deaf children generally see less peripherally than hearing children, but typically go on to develop better than normal peripheral vision by adulthood.

Dr Charlotte Codina, who undertook the study as part of her RNID-funded PhD, commented: "Important vision changes are occurring as deaf children grow-up and one current theory is that they have not yet learnt to focus their attention on stimuli in the periphery until their vision matures at the age of 11 or 12."

A recent optical study published in an issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, found that the condition corneal arcus was present in the right eyes of 57.9 per cent of people with elevated eye pressure. 

by Martin Burns

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