Monday, September 18, 2017

Uncorrected Farsightedness & Children’s Literacy

A study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has shown that 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 of correction-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. In general, the higher the diopter, the worse the hyperopia. This study suggests that an untreated vision problem in preschool, in this case one that makes it harder for children to see things up close, can create literacy deficits that affect grade school readiness. In most children with hyperopia, the condition is mild and has little impact on vision. A small number of preschool children have high hyperopia-more than 6 diopters-that is corrected with eyeglasses. It’s estimated that 4-14% have moderate hyperopia, which often goes undiagnosed and untreated. The results revealed significantly worse performance on the TOPEL among children with uncorrected moderate hyperopia, especially those who also had reduced near visual function, including clarity of binocular vision and depth perception.

If you or someone you know has a school age child who has not had an eye exam, please make sure they are evaluated for vision problems as this can affect their reading readiness, literacy and overall school performance. Please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.