Dating back at least 25 years, research has shown that uncompensated hyperopia has a deleterious effect on academic performance. This was popularized in the literature by the husband and wife team of Joy and Jerome Rosner based at the University of Houston College of Optometry. Evidence has linked hyperopia with broad issues such as impaired literacy standards in children, and specific issues such as the effect of induced blur on the Beery-Buktenica developmental test of visual-motor integration.
The most wide-ranging review on the subject was published earlier this year in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, titled The Impact of Hyperopia on Academic Performance Among Children: A Systematic Review. In their conclusion, the authors state that theirs is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to focus on the impact of uncorrected hyperopia and hyperopic spectacle correction on academic performance globally. They add: “We found an association between uncorrected hyperopia and children’s poor educational performance and reading skills … Hyperopia in children, if left undetected, could have a significant negative effect on economic and academic opportunities throughout life.”
There isn’t any area of clinical practice about which one couldn’t say that more research is welcome to add to “cause and effect”. In the interim, this latest paper adds weight to the clinical observations by optometrists that low plus lenses can have a profound impact on the academic performance of select children. You can read the full text of this extensive systematic review and meta-analysis here.