There are many things that can affect a student’s ability to read and write. Click on the video to watch how eye movements affect reading.
Students improved by more than 20 percentage points on their achievement testing when given eyeglasses that corrected for their previously undetected farsightedness. In this clinical study involving three public schools in New York, undetected hyperopia and poor fine eye movements were shown to be related to poor academic performance. The study showed that both undetected farsightedness and poor fine eye movements were more commonly found in students who were performing in the bottom 25th percent of their class. This study did not address improving the poor fine eye movements.
In another study involving 782 elementary students in Iowa, the authors found that students with uncorrected farsightedness scored significantly lower on their reading achievement test scores. The effects of uncorrected farsightedness on reading was again shown in a study involving 1298 eight-year old students in Wales. Students with uncorrected farsightedness scored significantly worse on the national assessment of literacy than those who did not have the same vision problem.
These clinical studies, and others, show that uncorrected farsightedness can have a negative effect on reading. Correction of previously undiagnosed farsightedness can have a positive effect on reading. There are many different factors that can affect academics. Even within vision, there are more issues than farsightedness that can affect a child’s ability to read, write and learn. However, since farsightedness is relatively easy to correct, it is important for any child starting school or any child who may be struggling at school to have a yearly eye exam with a licensed eye doctor. If further help is needed, then the proper follow-up testing or referrals can be made. Farsightedness is easily missed during school or pediatrician vision screenings that only test for distance eyesight and simple eye alignment.
Go to Sugar Land Pediatric Eye Exam to learn more.
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2. Rosner J, Rosner J. The relationship between moderate hyperopia and academic achievement: How much plus is enough? J Am Optom Assoc 1997;68:648-50.
3. Williams WR, Latif AHA, et. al. Hyperopia and educational attainment in a primary school cohort. Arch Dis Child 2005;90:150-3.