Many parents just assume that their children are seeing perfectly unless there are obvious signs that their vision has issues. Children often don’t get an exam until it is required for school; the quality of their vision tends to be underestimated and the importance of checking it is just starting to be realized in developmental circles. New research is concluding that children with severe astigmatism who wear glasses benefit not just in their sight, but also in their development throughout the formative years.
It has recently been found that when children wear glasses for severe astigmatism on a regular basis, they not only improve their reading accuracy but they also become better “readers” overall. Astigmatism is a common condition which causes blurriness. Due to an irregular shape of the eye, the light that enters it is skewed, causing people not to see clearly.
Because it can be difficult sometimes to get children to wear glasses, they may go without wearing them. But what medical professionals are finally starting to realize is that the amount of time children wear them is critical to their overall reading success throughout life. Improving the accuracy of their reading early on can build more confidence and better reading skills for the rest of their lifetime.
High astigmatism is linked to a decrease in reading fluency
A study was recently done at the University of Arizona with 274 participants from schools in the neighboring communities. Of those they examined, 76 of the kids were evaluated as having high astigmatism in both eyes. Another 67 were evaluated as having moderate astigmatism, and the remaining children had no signs of astigmatism at all. After the astigmatism had been discovered, the children were supplied with reading glasses to correct the blurred vision that can accompany the condition.
After the children had been given prescription glasses, the three separate groups went through a series of tests that had them reading out loud to evaluate their reading fluency. The reading was assessed on both accuracy and speed of the child’s reading. The children who were diagnosed with astigmatism were examined both before and after they were prescribed reading glasses.
The students identified as having high astigmatism had a severely diminished reading fluency when they were compared to the other two control groups before they were prescribed glasses. The other two groups were similar in their reading capabilities before the glasses were prescribed.
After receiving and wearing their glasses, the children in the high astigmatism group showed a remarkable improvement in their reading skills. Not only did they read with more accuracy, their overall reading speed improved by nearly an additional word per minute. That is about the equivalent of what children this age gain in about a half a year of school. For the other group with moderate astigmatism, having glasses did not affect their accuracy or speed.
The differences were greatest when the participants were older or the text was smaller. Many studies have been conducted in the past to determine how near- and farsightedness affects reading ability in school-age children, but up until now there have been no studies to determine how astigmatism can affect a growing and developing mind. It has already been concluded that for children who have myopia and hyperopia, wearing glasses can improve their school abilities, but not much has been studied regarding the special condition of astigmatism.
The new findings from kids prescription glasses Winnipeg, seem to suggest that for children with astigmatism, wearing glasses is an integral component of their school success, and that prescription glasses can help with both their reading fluency and speed. Wearing corrective glasses can not only help them achieve at school, but it can also increase their confidence levels and can help them develop better habits throughout their school career.
For older children, who may have become accustomed to the blurriness that they experience, glasses can show them what they have been missing. At a higher functioning level, it can help them to read with more accuracy and speed, which will most certainly help them to succeed in school. The faster you read, the better able you are to keep up. Therefore, it would make sense that children with high astigmatism rates will do much better at school if they wear glasses to correct the blurriness that can sometimes accompany the condition.