Farsightedness – that is, a condition in which a person struggles to see objects that are close by- is often viewed as a problem that affects older adults and seniors. And to be sure, this is often the case. However, not only does this condition affect young children, but can also negatively affect elementary school students.
Compare and Contrast
According to researchers from Ohio State University, preschoolers and kindergartners with farsightedness can encounter serious problems with schoolwork. Specifically, this report noted that children with farsightedness could struggle to pay attention to their daily lessons. The authors reached this conclusion upon examining 492 children; of this figure, approximately half (244) had been diagnosed with moderate farsightedness, while the remaining 248 participants had normal quality vision. Upon comparing these two groups, the Ohio State team reached the following conclusions:
• The visual attention of farsighted children lagged behind that of students with normal vision.
• The visual perception scores of children with normal quality vision were superior to those with farsightedness.
• Visual-motor skills, such as eye-hand coordination, were found to be adversely affected by the presence of farsightedness.
Glasses to the Rescue?
In a press release issued by Ohio State University, study author Marjean Taylor Kulp noted that “We knew from our previous work that preschool and kindergarten children with uncorrected farsightedness have decreased early literacy, and this new study shows that there are even more deficits in these children early on.” The report appeared in the October 2017 in journal Optometry and Vision Science.
As of this point, it is unclear if prescribing glasses to young students could sufficiently address this problem. Kulp and her team plan to conduct future research on this very topic.