Vision screening of 109 Year 3 pupils in Australia found 33 children had borderline or unsatisfactory vision.
The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research, published in the International Journal of Educational Research, found that children with uncorrected eye problems scored lower on literacy and numeracy tests.
The authors emphasise that the study has important implications for teachers and eye health professionals, as the study highlights the importance of early vision screening in identifying children who may be achieving below their potential.
A follow-up study will examine whether vision intervention in Year 2 can reduce the differences in academic performance seen in Year 3.
QUT Professor, Joanne Wood, told OT that vision screening and assessment was not mandatory before school, meaning that some children may have undetected visual difficulties.
“We hypothesise that early vision interventions could support children’s development of literacy and numeracy and subsequent classroom learning and achievement,” she explained.
“The aim is to level the playing field in terms of vision and provide every opportunity for learning and academic achievement for children in school and later in life,” Professor Wood concluded.