NIH Report: Uncorrected farsightedness linked to literacy deficits in preschoolers

A NEW study released by the National Institutes of Health this morning indicates a strong correlation between childhood hyperopia and poor reading skills. As someone who used to work in eye care and as someone who has dealt with mild hyperopia (far-sightedness) from childhood, I want to urge all parents to make sure their children receive early eye exams. Not only can the eye doctor determine whether or not your child has a corneal imperfection leading to myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism, but there are multiple other and even systemic health problems that can be determined through an eye exam. Don’t wait for the school to notify you that your child might have trouble seeing—take that precious gift to your local optometrist or ophthalmologist by age 3 unless you notice visual abnormalities earlier.

A study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has shown that uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia) in preschool children is associated with significantly worse performance on a test of early literacy.The results of the Vision in Preschoolers-Hyperopia in Preschoolers (VIP-HIP) study, which compared 4- and 5-year-old children with uncorrected hyperopia to children with normal vision, found that children with moderate hyperopia (3 to 6 diopters) did significantly worse on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL) than their normal-vision peers. A diopter is the lens power needed to correct vision to normal. The higher the diopter, the worse the hyperopia.

Source: Uncorrected farsightedness linked to literacy deficits in preschoolers | National Institutes of Health (NIH)