A new American study found that preschoolers suffering from farsightedness (aka hyperopia) had a more difficult time concentrating than children with normal vision. The study also found that farsighted children had weak hand-eye coordination skills.
Researchers at many universities collected data on almost 500 children between the ages of four and five. 244 of these children had hyperopia and 248 had normal vision. Scientists measured each child's relative attention span and contrasted it with their visual-motor integration and visual acuity scores.
All of the farsighted children had lower scores on the three vision and concentration tests compared to children who had normal vision. Hyperopic children had increased hyperactivity and poor visual perception scores.
While the correlations are clear in this study, scientists say they need more facts to confirm this link. Many researchers are now interested in the effect correcting hyperopia in preschoolers could change their attention problems.
Current estimates suggest that between 4 to 14 percent of preschoolers have some degree of farsightedness. Unfortunately, this disease often goes undiagnosed in younger children. Doctors encourage parents to bring their children in for an eye screening as soon as possible.
While hyperopia is more common in older patients, it can occur in children. Warning signs of this disorder include frequent headaches, difficulty seeing things up close, and eyestrain.
The National Eye Institute was a major backer of this research. A few of the main professors on this project include Drs. Maureen Maguire, Elsie Ciner, and Gui-shuang Ying. A few of the prestigious institutions that participated in this study include Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the New England College of Optometry helped in this study.