A literature review of refractive error and its potential effect on reading attainment in the early years of school

Allen Thurston, Mhairi Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper is a review of the literature surrounding the potential impact of undiagnosed and untreated refractive vision problems on reading development in the early years of primary school. Despite pre-school screening programmes, it is still possible for children to enter school with undiagnosed or uncorrected refractive vision problems. This paper generally discusses correlations between refractive errors and poor reading development. However, the relationships reported remain complex. Myopia is noted to correlate to high reading ability in some studies, but a correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Previous research in the field and deficiencies in the current literature base are discussed. Recommendations for the nature of research that explores whether refractive error is the cause of poor reading development for some children in school are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalOptometry & Visual Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


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