Visual Function Deficiencies in Children with Dyslexia

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Visual function deficiencies appear to be much more prevalent in school-aged children with developmental dyslexia (DD) than in typically developing (TD) readers, according to a prospective, uncontrolled observational study involving 62 children. 

Participants were ~10 years of age who were seen in an outpatient ophthalmology ambulatory clinic in 2016. They included children with DD (n=29) and those who were TD (n=33). Investigators looked at frequencies of deficits in vergence,  accommodation, and ocular motor tracking. Among the results: 

  • Accommodation deficits were seen in 55% of children with DD, vs 9% among TD children. 
  • Impaired ocular motor tracking occurred in 62% and 15%, respectively. 
  • Vergence deficits occurred in 34% and 15%, respectively, but this difference was not statistically significant. 
  • 8 in every 10 of children with DD had ≥1 visual function deficit, vs ~one-third of TD children. 

Raghuram, Gowrisankaran S, Swanson E, Zurakowski D, Hunter D, Waber D. Frequency of visual deficits in children with developmental dyslexia. [Published online ahead of print July 19, 2018]. JAMA Ophthalmol. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.2797.

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