In this study 244 children were tested who had moderate farsightedness and 248 children who had normal vision. The results found that “some children were able to focus their eyes and adjust to their farsightedness, while others struggled to see close up. These children had lower scores on tests of visual attention and which can then cause them to lose ground on reading skills before they start first grade.”
Children don’t outgrow farsightedness. That means that this vision problem continues on through their education contributing to their reading, learning and attention challenges.
Why is visual attention so important? A study of 42 seventh graders was published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities in 2007 which showed that by testing visual attention 95.7% of poor readers were correctly identified. That means that visual attention deficits contribute to difficulty with reading.
Another study also published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities in 2003, showed that optometric vision therapy not only resolved visual attention problems but also improved reading skills; specifically, sixth graders with below-average reading skills improved their test scores by up to two grade levels after vision therapy.
If your child struggles with reading, schedule an appointment with Dr. Christine Semenza to find out if a vision problem is contributing to your child’s difficulties.