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Correlation? Reading before 7yo = poor eyesight


Tohru
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Do you or does your child wear glasses or contacts?  

  1. 1. Do you or does your child wear glasses or contacts?

    • No, and didn't read until after 7yo.
      9
    • No, and began reading before 7yo
      78
    • Yes, and began reading before 7yo
      58
    • Yes, and began reading after 7yo
      11
    • Other!
      3


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My brother, dh and ds were all late readers and have perfect vision. I started reading around 5yo and need corrective lenses. In fact, most everyone that I know, both kids and adults, that started reading around 5 (give or take) need glasses or contacts.

 

I wonder, is it just a coincidence with the people I've met or might there be a slight chance of an actual correlation between early reading (before 7yo) and needing glasses? Poll to follow :)

 

Thanks!

 

ETA: I tried to make it multiple choice to vote for as many people as you can, but I'm not sure if it works.

Edited by jadedone80
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Honestly, I can't think of anyone who learned to read after age 7, other than people with significant learning problems.

 

I have two 5yo daughters who read. The one who read earliest (fluent at age 4) has perfect vision. The one who read later (just started decoding at age 5) was diagnosed with significant vision problems before age 3.

 

I was an early reader (age 5) who had bad eyesight. But my sister who had perfect vision began reading earlier than I did (age 4.5).

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I was reading at 4 and had perfect vision until recently 'cause I just got old.....

 

My oldest was reading at 4 and she is now 26 and has perfect vision. Sorry if we're denting your hypothesis.

 

No. It's not really my hypothesis...I think the Moore's wrote about it.

My daughter is pretty young and starting to try to read and I want to protect her eyesight, so I thought I'd ask around to see if there was any validity to the theory :)

 

Thanks for voting!

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I think it is coincidence. My ds wears glasses because he inherited the same eye disorder from me that I inherited from my parents. It wouldn't have mattered when he started reading. He was going to need the glasses at some point anyway.

 

My dh has perfect vision and started reading by at least age 5 (as far as he can recall).

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Both of my kids were reading fluently before kindergarten. They're now 13 and 16 and their eyesight is fine. I don't remember when I started reading, but I'm sure it was well before 7. My eyesight was fine until I hit the early/mid-40's and started having the usual age-related difficulties.

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I believe I remember reading a study about this topic. The children who ended up with poor eyesight who learned to read young tended not to do much other than close work. As long as they were not over-reading, it wasn't a problem. The problems were caused by not using their far vision enough. The same eye problems can be caused simply by just being inside too much. The eyes need to be used for both far and near vision. So, if you have an early reader, you just need to make sure they take breaks and do something that focuses their vision at a distance on a regular basis. (Even just looking up and focusing away from the page every 10 minutes or so.) A 6 yo shouldn't be just sitting and reading. The same visual problems can be caused by a young child who just sits and plays video games all day (especially on something handheld).

 

That said, I had 2 who read very early. One average. One later. Of the 4, only one has any visual problems in one eye. She was an early reader, and the most voracious I had. (She would walk down the street reading a book.) She doesn't require glasses now, but may when put into a classroom situation. That is despite a dh whose vision is absolutely horrid. Honestly, I cannot figure out how at least one doesn't require correction full time.

Edited by Lolly
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I was reading at 4 and had perfect vision until recently 'cause I just got old.....

 

My oldest was reading at 4 and she is now 26 and has perfect vision. Sorry if we're denting your hypothesis.

 

Me, too. I need reading glasses now, in my 40s, but that's pretty much it.

 

My 11 yo read early and has terrible vision, but she inherited that from her dad, who was not an early reader, or much of a reader at all (he can read, just isn't "a reader").

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I don't know anyone who read after 7.

I got a light prescription in my late 20s. Oldest ds wears glasses.

Dh does not, dd1 does not, dd2 does not.

Ds2 should have an exam before the end of the year. He may need glasses. He's just beginning to read.

 

I really don't understand how anyone can identify that as causation. Some people wear glasses, and some don't. Not sure how that could possibly be dictated by their learning ability.

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I have one who was a strong reader at 4. He read all the time and at 6 was reading middle and high school science and history and Harry Potter, but the nonfiction was smaller print. He does not wear corrective lenses.

 

Have one that was reading at 6. She wore glasses a 8, but has since stopped. She didn't like reading until about age 11. At almost 15 reads most of her "free time". Recent testing does not suggest any need for glasses.

 

Youngest has disabilities. If he did not have disabilities he would probably be wearing glasses. At age 7 he was at the sounding out words stage and knew sight words, but not reading books.

 

So my strongest early reader has the best vision of the bunch.

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We've got all varieties in our home; I doubt there's a correlation.

 

DH -- reading before 7, wears glasses, very poor eyesight. Began wearing glasses around 4th grade or so.

Me -- reading before age 7, do not need glasses for day to day life, but have *just* bad enough vision in one eye that I am required to wear glasses to drive. My other eye is 20/20, and the "bad" eye is still very good. Began wearing glasses in high school, and my eye sight has never worsened since the first visit to the eye doctor.

DS #1 -- reading before age 7, does need glasses, but his vision is not terrible

DS #2 -- reading before age 7, thus far does not need glasses

DS #3 -- not reading by age 7, thus far does not need glasses

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...that there is no causation. Some 'early' readers wear glasses, some don't.

 

Laura

 

:iagree:

 

I started reading at four, and I started wearing glasses in third grade. My dh started reading at five, perfect vision. My eldest started reading at 3, no glasses. Middle at 6 and is just needing glasses. Youngest started reading really fluently around 7 and no glasses. I don't think one has anything to do with the other.

 

ETA: I will say that my prescription went down after college. All of the reading, computer work, stress and lack of sleep did cause eye-strain. I read a lot now, but not enough to strain my eyes like that again.

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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I will say that my daughter's developmental optometrist believes that pushing early reading / writing does cause vision problems (astigmatism specifically) for some children. So that is a belief and maybe it is true some of the time. I'm pretty sure it isn't true all of the time. :)

 

I had such bad eyesight even when I started KG (at 4 and not reading), I've thought it was surprising that I ended up being the best reader in the class. I had to move forward in order to see the board. Then I thought maybe I became a reader because I could hold books close to my eyes, and couldn't see much of anything else. Like, I couldn't see people's faces, so being social was not a strength of mine. Couldn't exactly tell what was going on on TV. So maybe the bad vision actually encouraged the reading habit.

 

ETA: I should probably note that due to my parents' finances, I didn't actually get glasses until I was about 8yo. Before that, I couldn't clearly see anything that wasn't inches from my nose. Good thing I had books and knew what to do with them.

Edited by SKL
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I have one of each. They both started formally reading at 4: Calvin has perfect sight; Hobbes wears glasses. Both parents wear glasses and three of the four grandparents wore glasses. I think it's genetics.

 

Laura

 

:iagree: That's what I was thinking too.

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Since every member of our family, on both sides, wears glasses or contacts, I'm guessing DD will eventually need them. She's about at the age both DH and I got them (I should make an appointment for her, come to think of it...). So, while she was an early reader, I really suspect genetics is more in play than early reading.

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I read very early, and wore glasses early, but because of astigmatism in one eye. So... in one child, early reading, and one eye affected but the other not? Or, more likely IMO, I inherited the lazy eye tendencies that run in my dad's side of the family unrelated to reading age.

 

One aspect of the correlation possibilities is that apparently young children tend to be far sighted, and thus have trouble focusing on close work. As they outgrow the farsightedness, they find reading easier. So one theory is that children who are more nearsighted than their peers (because they're going to be even more nearsighted later and will eventually need glasses) are more likely to read early because they can focus on close work at an earlier age. So by that theory, the nearsightedness would be the cause of the early reading, and not the other way around.

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My Dad (who I don't know when he started reading) never need glasses, till...

 

he was a university student and decided that during a summer work placement of some kind he would save money and eat nothing but kraft dinner for lunch and dinner, and eggs for breakfast.

 

To this day he needs glasses.

 

I also need glasses, but I don't know when I started reading.

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I began reading at age 3. I began wearing glasses at age 12, when adolescence did one of those funky things to my eyes and nearsighted became my view of the world. My son began wearing glasses at age 8, he was barely reading at that age, for tracking issues but otherwise has perfect vision. My daughter is 5, not yet reading, and wears glasses. She has multiple issues from prematurity. My dh was on the average age of 6-7ish when he began reading and began wearing glasses in high school. At nearly 50, he just moved into bi-focals.

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I'd have to say no correlation.

 

I've had 3 early readers. Two began wearing glasses in 5th grade (10), one does not. My 6yo, who still doesn't read well (K-level) needs glasses, though.

 

I was an early reader and needed glasses. My mother was an early reader and didn't need glasses until 6th grade. My father was an early reader and didn't need glasses until he was 50 (reading-type). My husband was an early reader and still doesn't need glasses. Of my 3 brothers, none of which were early readers, one wears glasses (started in the 6th grade).

 

Genetics...purely the luck of the gene pool.

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I've been looking into this recently because of my son.

 

I have an 8 year old who got glasses recently. His eyes are very bad actually for his age. I have really horrible vision and my husband's is pretty bad too so the genetics are there. His twin's vision is fine right now. They began reading about the same time. Curiously as my son's vision got worse (he has had a great decline in the last six months but insurance wouldn't pay for a repeat eye exam before a year) he's been read more. I don't think it's the reading. I think it's that he couldn't see far away and reading became more interesting. Since getting glasses I'm seeing more "far looking" stuff out of him compared to reading now. It's interesting.

 

Anyway, the optometrist talked to me about bifocals so that reading isn't done with the long distance prescription. She said there is some thought it might help with progression of loss.

 

I did some research on it. I didn't save all the links but this one is interesting to sort of balance the recent news thoughts. There appears to be really mixed results even in research on this. We have been getting media reports lately on the correlation between reading and vision loss. The problem is interpreting correlation though. Do kids with poor long vision want to read more or does the reading cause or aggravate vision issues. The article I linked makes a case for the opposite (hyperopia causes some kids to resist or even have trouble with reading) being possibly responsible for correlation findings. I think there is probably something to that thought. I walked away from all my reading just not sure. We are waiting on a pair of glasses for home use (where he does most of his "close" work like reading) that have a bifocal. I'm not convinced it will help but I also don't think it will hurt.

 

I did not begin reading before 7 and I have horrible vision. I got an "educational talk" at my last eye appointment about signs of retinal detachment because my eyes are such a strong prescription I'm at significantly increased risk. Like my son I had glasses by 2nd grade. My sister definitely did begin reading early--before K--and she got glasses in high school. They are a mild prescription and she can see without them.

 

If I were voting myself it would be yes and after 7. My son would be yes and before 7. My other son would be no and before 7.

Edited by sbgrace
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