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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.
The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.