Preschoolers' test scores improved with prescription glasses

February 13, 2008

According to a new study, preschoolers' test scores improved within 6 weeks of consistently wearing prescription glasses.

San Diego-According to a new study, preschoolers' test scores improved within 6 weeks of consistently wearing prescription glasses.

"It has been theorized that when young children have early vision problems that are undiagnosed and uncorrected, their development and performance in school are impacted," said Stuart I. Brown, chairman of ophthalmology and director of the Shiley Eye Center University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, in a prepared statement. "This study shows that children with vision impairment do perform below the norm in visual-motor coordination tests, and that they catch up quickly once they are given corrective [lenses]."

About half of the 70 participants, aged 3 to 5 years, had normal vision and half were diagnosed with ametropia. Children took two standardized tests that relate directly to future school performance: the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-revised (WPPSI-R).

The vision-impaired children scored significantly lower on both tests, however, once they were given glasses and monitored by their families to wear their glasses consistently, the scores on the VMI were at the same level as children with normal vision. The WPPSI-R scores did not show dramatic improvement according to the study, published in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.