Back To School, Vision and Reading

child with glasses reading book

  • 25-30% of children have vision problems that interfere with academics
  • Students who failed vision screenings scored worse on standardized tests

In a clinical study involving elementary-aged school children published in 2017, those who had failed a vision screening scored significantly worse on standardized tests of reading, grammar and punctuation, spelling and numeracy compared to students who had not failed the vision screening.

In another clinical study, near visual skills, not just visual acuity, explained 40% of the variance in reading accuracy performance and 30% of the variance in reading comprehension amongst elementary school children.  Put another way, near visual skills were contributory factors in every 4 out of 10 children who performed worse than the average reading accuracy score.  Near visual skills were also contributory factors in every 3 out of 10 children who performed worse than the average reading comprehension score.

Checking for a child’s need for eyeglasses is important.  Investigating a child’s near visual skills is equally, if not even more, important if he/she is struggling academically because most of a student’s visual demand is within 16-18 inches.  We specialize in vision development and its effect on reading, writing and learning.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.


7 Tips for Driving at Night

Tips for Driving at Night

1. WEAR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE EYEGLASSES. If you only see 20/25, your reaction speed will be 4 times slower than if you were able to see 20/20. If you only see 20/30, your reaction speed will be 16 times slower. If you only see 20/40, your reaction speed will be 64 times slower, etc… Sometimes a visual skills evaluation is needed in addition to a routine eye exam to determine the best driving glasses because of aging changes in the visual system.
2. PRACTICE PREVENTIVE EYE CARE. Preventive eye care can help delay some of the normal aging changes to the visual system that make driving at night more difficult.
3. AIM HEADLIGHTS PROPERLY. Make sure that the headlights are level and not aimed too low. Also, regularly clean off the grime that accumulates on your headlights. In addition, replace old headlight bulbs that are beginning to dim.
4. DIM YOUR DASH LIGHTS. Avoid added glare that can distract you by dimming your dash lights and instrument panel.
5. CLEAN ALL MIRRORS AND WINDOWS. Wipe down your front windshield, back windshield, side windows, side mirrors and rearview mirrors regularly to avoid added glare at night. Wiping with newspaper will remove residue effectively. Avoid touching the inside of the windows with your hands. Instead, keep a microfiber cloth in the car to wipe with instead.
6. DRIVE WITH FOG LIGHTS. These lights will help illuminate the road even when there is no fog. Make sure that these lights are aimed as low as possible so that they will not blind oncoming drivers.
7. ADJUST EXTERIOR MIRRORS. Adjust these side mirrors so that you can check them without looking directly into the lights from the cars around you. Aiming them slightly lower will allow you to see the cars behind you by dipping your head slightly forward without looking directly into the other car’s headlights.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.


Myopia, or nearsightedness, is believed to be caused by multiple factors occurring in one individual.  In other words, there are many factors that seem to be associated with myopia development.  For example, recent research indicates that first-born children are more likely to have myopia than younger siblings.

Astigmatism Affects School Readiness

reading glasses sugar land astigmatism fort bend isd

Astigmatism as little as 0.50 diopters negatively affects preschool academic readiness. In a study involving preschool children between the ages of 3 years and 5 years, children with astigmatism consistently performed lower than their peers without astigmatism in Language and Literacy, Physical Health and Development and Communication as measured by the teacher-reported Work Sampling System (WSS) and the parent-reported Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The WSS correlates well with the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery Revised.

Children with small amounts of astigmatism are easily missed during vision screenings at school or the pediatrician’s office. An astigmatism magnitude of 1.50 diopters would be needed before a child even meets the 20/40 pass-fail criterion for referrals, but as little as 0.50 affects school readiness. Unfortunately, forty percent of children, even if they fail the screening, do not follow up with an eye doctor. The statistics are even worse for younger children – only 7.5% of children younger than six years of age visit an eye doctor.

There are other visual skills that can affect academics besides the need for a prescription. Refractive error, though, is an important contributor to school readiness. Even small amounts of astigmatism have been shown to affect development. Have your child’s refractive status thoroughly checked to make sure that he/she is as ready to succeed in school as possible.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

1. Orlansky G, Wilmer J, et. al. Astigmatism and early academic readiness in preschool children. Optom Vis Sci, 2015; 92(3): ahead of printing.
2. Moon BY, Kim Sy, et. al. Predicting of astigmatism from decimal visual acuity in spherical equivalent. J Op Sci Kor, 2013; 17(2):219-223.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visual impairment and use of eye-care services and protective eyewear among children – United States, 2002. MMWR 2005; 54:425-429.

Why 20/40 May Not Be Good Enough

Eye Doctor Sugar Land Colony Care Top Optometrist

20/40 visual acuity is a common pass-fail mark for vision screenings. Visual acuity testing measures the absolute smallest letter size that a person can see at a specific distance. This testing of eyesight is different than sustainable acuity. Sustainable acuity is the eyesight level at which a person can comfortably and easily read for an extended period of time. A common rule-of-thumb is that a student’s visual acuity should be three times better than the size of the words that are being read in order to read comfortably for an extended period of time. This means in order to read a typical 8th grade book comfortably for an extended period of time, a student should have 20/20 eyesight. In order to read a typical 4th grade book comfortably, a child should have approximately 20/25 acuity. Someone who only has 20/40 eyesight would only comfortably be able to sustain reading print that is the size of newspaper sub-headlines or a typical 1st – 3rd grade book. When a child becomes uncomfortable, he/she will often be more easily distracted while reading.

There are other visual skills that can affect sustainability of reading. Some children, even if they can see 20/20, have a difficult time reading for lengthy periods of time or reading at a proper rate because of poorly developed visual skills. Visual acuity, though, is a contributor to decreased reading rates. If a child is only seeing 20/40, please schedule an eye exam for him/her.