Vision Problems Can Hinder Kids’ Attention and School Performance

girl looks through magnifying glassEye exams are not just important for teenagers and adults. Young children need regular eye exams so they can achieve learning benchmarks in school.

​Researchers at Ohio State University found that preschoolers and kindergarteners with hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, struggled to pay attention. Hyperopia is a common type of refractive error in which distant objects are seen more clearly than objects that are near.

Hyperopia is an Underdiagnosed Condition

Moderate farsightedness affects about 4 to 14 percent of preschoolers, but it often goes undetected. Vision problems at a young age can put children at risk of slipping behind in school because they lack the basic building blocks of education.

The study, led by Marjean Taylor Kulp, examined 244 preschool children with moderate farsightedness and 248 preschool children with normal vision. Kulp and her team tested the children in attention, visual perception, and the ability to combine visual perception and motor skills.

Children who were moderately farsighted were more likely to have low scores on attention-related tests. The team found that farsighted children also had trouble with hand-eye coordination and copying skills.

“We knew from our previous work that preschool and kindergarten children with uncorrected farsightedness have decreased early literacy,” Kulp explained, “and this new study shows that there are even more deficits in these children early on” (source: Ohio State University).

Schedule Yearly Eye Exams to Help Students Succeed

Has it been a year or more since your child’s last eye exam? Vision can change quickly, especially in children.  A yearly eye exam is the most effective way to diagnose farsightedness, nearsightedness or other eye conditions. Children with healthy vision are more likely to perform well in school, so make an eye appointment so your child can have the best opportunity to succeed.

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