The psychiatric implications of hyperopia

Hi Everyone,

As we all know, vision has a keystone role to play in child development, behaviour, and learning. Still, (pathetically) few children are assessed adequately prior to Grade 1. We know that in Texas, Canada (That is, Alberta, with all it’s massive wealth) still sees anywhere from the low single digits (on reserves) to the mid-30% range, as reported by the Association.

In researching the psychiatric side of visual impediments to learning, that is, those areas where we know that vision impacts on or emulates DSM-IV/V type diagnoses, there are some surprising findings. One day soon I will publish on these observations, and you can get an overview during the Seeing is Believing online CE event later this month: (great value for CE, and you can participate from anywhere). Speakers list here:

In the meantime, I came across this simple yet powerful article from the American Journal of Ophthalmology from 1955 (Vol39, Issue 3, 375-377). “The influence of hypermetropia and myopia on reading achievement.”

We have heard from the AAPOS and the AAO that vision has nothing to do with learning/reading. This is of course outmoded and silly reasoning. Vision not only reflects the status of child neural development and integration, but addressing visual impediments from a global perspective is well-known to produce great and positive changes in how children feel, learn, and behave. From the article, the simple example of hyperopia is considered:

“Hypermetropia may contribute to considerable additional retardation among reading failures.”… “The general impression that reading failures should have complete eye examinations to disclose possible eye handicaps is supported.”

Ophthalmology these days is much more interested in the medical side of practice, and seems to have fully dismissed the functional side, even given evidence presented in their own vaunted journals. It is noteworthy that the author of the above article disregards the concept of ‘vision’ referring only the ‘eye handicaps’. A very narrow view of the visual system indeed.

More to come.


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