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Eye problems may lead to poor test scores
THURSDAY, AUGUST 02, 2012 16:29 PM

When students perform poorly in school, parents and teachers may point fingers at one another, thinking they are the reason behind low grades and test scores. However, the cause of some children’s learning problems may actually be vision disorders that have gone unidentified.

August is National Children’s Vision and Learning Month and, as a result, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) recently highlighted the importance of having kids’ eyes checked before the new school year begins.

"If your child is struggling with reading or paying attention in school, don't wait for the school or pediatrician to tell you it's time to have your child's vision evaluated," said David Damari, president of the COVD.

Officials from the nonprofit organization shared data from a 2003 study that was conducted by Northeastern State University’s College of Optometry. Researchers performed 2,659 eye examinations on 540 children, while also looking at how they performed on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS).

What they found was some visual factors, more so than race or socio-economic status, were better predictors of what types of scores kids would achieve. This, in turn, highlights the importance of regular visits to an optometrist.