Skip to Content

If the Eyes Don't Coordinate, Reading -- and Grades -- May Suffer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21, 2018 -- For students, an undetected vision problem could be contributing to low grades, a new study suggests.

That could be the case even if standard eye tests reveal no problems, the researchers said.

"It's not just about visual acuity, but about how well the eyes work together when performing an activity such as reading," said lead researcher Lisa Christian. She's an associate clinical professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo, in Canada.

Participants in the study included 121 children, aged 6 to 14 years, who were getting extra help for reading. More than three-fourths of the children had 20/20 vision, according to standard vision tests.

However, more than one-third had lower-than-normal scores on tests of binocular vision, the investigators found. That's when the two eyes work together to create a single visual image.

"A complete binocular vision assessment is not always part of the standard vision test. However, binocular vision problems could be compounding a child's academic difficulties, and should be investigated," Christian said in a university news release.

"Kids can see words on the page, but if they have difficulty turning their eyes in to read or focusing words on a page, they may experience symptoms of eye strain, double vision or fatigue after five or 10 minutes," she explained.

"Full eye examinations -- particularly in children with vision issues -- may be a tool for parents and educators to assist children who are found to have difficulty reading," Christian said.

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Optometry.

© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2018

Read this next

Do Ordinary Eyeglasses Offer Protection Against COVID-19?

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2020 -- Eyeglasses keep you from tripping over footstools and walking into walls, but they also might have a side benefit to spark envy among those with 20/20...

Pandemic Learning Can Strain Children's Eyes

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2020 -- If your child will be doing online learning this school year, you need to take steps to protect them from eye strain, the American Academy of...

Have Diabetes? Don't Lose Sight of Danger to Your Eyes

MONDAY, Aug. 10, 2020 -- Diabetes can wreak havoc on many parts of the body, including the eyes, but people with diabetes aren't doomed to have vision problems. With good blood...