July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Can refractive error impact the academic performance?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Efrain Castellanos
    Western University College of Optometry, Pomona, California, United States
  • Pinakin Gunvant Davey
    Western University College of Optometry, Pomona, California, United States
  • Kristy Remick-Waltman
    Western University College of Optometry, Pomona, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Efrain Castellanos, None; Pinakin Davey, None; Kristy Remick-Waltman, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  none
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 5836. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Efrain Castellanos, Pinakin Gunvant Davey, Kristy Remick-Waltman; Can refractive error impact the academic performance?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5836.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Poor visual acuity can be a disadvantage during developing years as it can hinder learning and cause developmental delays in academic abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between the refractive errors in children and their academic performance on standardized English Language and Arts test.

Methods : Students from fifth, eight, nine and tenth grade (n=1053) from Pomona Unified School District California USA were screened for refractive errors using auto-refractor during the years of 2010-2013. Their official scores for English Language Arts test were provided by the school district superintendent. The student population was grouped according to their mean spherical equivalent (SphEq) refractive errors as follows: not clinically significant refractive error <±1.00D, hyperopia, SphEq value ≥ +1.0 diopters (D) or greater; myopia, SphEq value of ≥-1.0 D or less; and astigmatism, cylinder of ≥1.0 D.

Results : The Table-1 provides the details about the distribution of refractive errors and academic performance. Comparing the groups of refractive error, we find that the academic performance by students with hyperopia tends to be poorer than the students with myopia. Hyperopic groups have 38% of students above basic level whereas the myopic group has 62% of students above basic levels. Hyperopic groups have 26% of students below basic level whereas the myopic group has 16% of students below basic levels.

Conclusions : Good near vision is imperative to performing optimally in the majority of academic tasks required of students. Reading and writing require sustained accommodation to maintain a clear focused image at near. This may in part be responsible for the relatively poor performance of hyperopic students compared to their myopic counterparts. Further studies needed on a greater scale at different age groups to determine a causal relationships.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.



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