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Authors
SHANKAR, SUNITA PhD; EVANS, MARY ANN PhD, C Psych; BOBIER, WILLIAM R. OD, PhD, FAAO

Hyperopia and Emergent Literacy of Young Children: Pilot Study

publication date
May 10, 2007
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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose

To compare emergent literacy skills in uncorrected hyperopic and emmetropic children.

 

Methods

“Hyperopes” (≥2.00 D sphere along the most hyperopic meridian; n = 13; aged 67 ± 13 mo) and “emmetropes” (≤1.50 D sphere along the most hyperopic meridian; n = 19; aged 58 ± 12 mo) were tested for visual acuity (VA) and assessed for their emergent literacy skills [three standard tests (letter/word reading skills, receptive vocabulary and phonological awareness) and an experimental test of emergent orthography]. Parents completed a survey of family demographics, health/developmental concerns and home literacy experiences. Visual motor and visual perceptual skills tests were used to assess any visual cognitive differences.


Conclusion/Results

Results

There were no differences in single letter VA for hyperopes and emmetropes and crowded letters for the right eye. Crowding effects were significantly greater in the left eye for hyperopes (t (30) = −2.74, p = 0.01), with two of the hyperopes showing abnormal crowding. Hyperopes lagged behind emmetropes in letter and word recognition ability (Mann-Whitney U = 72, p = 0.049), receptive vocabulary (F(1,30) = 9.64, p = 0.004), and emergent orthography (F(1,29) = 5.43, p = 0.03). The groups did not differ in phonological awareness skills (F(1,29) = 0.39, p = 0.54). No statistically significant differences between the two groups were found for visual motor or visual perceptual skills, age, and some family variables known to contribute to emergent literacy skills.

 

Conclusions

In this pilot study, uncorrected hyperopic children, ages 4 to 7 years, show reduced performance on tests of letter and word recognition, receptive vocabulary, and emergent orthography and crowded VA, despite no difference in phonological awareness skills, visual cognitive skills, and other family variables known to affect the acquisition of literacy skills. The relationship between hyperopia and the poorer progress in emergent literacy is complex, and it is not clear if the relationship is causal, and whether the hyperopes will catch up to the emmetropes with time.


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Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


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I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


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Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


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Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


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Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.


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