According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics dyslexia has nothing to do with vision problems. Almost 84% of the children who were involved in the study and who suffered from dyslexia had perfect eyesight. So vision problems do not increase an individual’s risk of developing dyslexia.
Researcher at the University of Bristol (UK) conducted the study on 5.822 children with ages between 7 to 9. They analyzed their eye tests results and discovered that 3% (172) of the children had severe dyslexia and 8% (479) suffered from moderate dyslexia. Afterwards the results were compared with eye tests of the children who did not suffer from dyslexia. The study did not focus on finding what the causes of dyslexia are, but only on proving that eyesight problems are not one of the factors which contribute to developing this condition.
Dyslexia is the main condition which causes writing, spelling and reading difficulties. One in five students suffers from this condition and nearly 70% to 80% of those who have difficulties reading are considered to be dyslexic. Children who are diagnosed with dyslexia are prescribed eye treatments and are recommended to have regular eye checkups because it is believed that eyeglasses could correct the problem. But this study proves that this belief is wrong and dyslexia could be caused by something else.
84% of the participants in the study who proved to be dyslexic had perfect vision. Only 16% of them had eye problems, whereas in the case of those with no dyslexia there were only 11%. The differences are not statistically significant and the researchers drew the conclusion that dyslexia is not caused by eyesight problems.
The lead author of the study, pediatric ophthalmologist Cathy Williams, explained that some practitioners link dyslexia with vision impairments and consider that it should be treated accordingly. However, she added that this is not the case since the findings of their study proved that children who are dyslexic have completely normal vision. Williams also remarked:
“So, families now might want to ask: what visual impairment is actually being treated, how it is measured and what is the evidence that treating it will help a child with dyslexia? This will help them decide whether any sight treatment offered is likely to help their child’s dyslexia.”
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