Researchers found that spectacle correction of hyperopia, but not necessarily correction of myopia, may increase reading speed in 9- and 10-year old children.
Optometry & Vision Science reported that child subjects, who were recruited at their schools, were selected based on reduced distance acuity and/or a positive blur test and cycloplegic refraction.
Glasses were prescribed to 43 myopes. The hyperope group of 65 subjects was randomized to three groups: no glasses, +0.5 DS for both eyes and full correction. Reading speed was tested before and 4 to 6 months after prescription of glasses using a 1-minute test, which is reading speed of genuine words, and the Klepel, which is reading speed of nonwords.
According to the abstract, Van Rijn and colleagues found that at baseline, myopes had 11% higher 1-minute scores and 9% higher Klepel scores than hyperopes. At the follow-up, the hyperopia full correction group improved its 1-minute score by about 13% more than both the no-glasses group and +0.5 DS group. Spectacles had little, if any effect on reading scores of myopes.
The authors concluded that correction of hyperopia may increase reading speed. The fact that reading speed of nonwords does not increase after correction suggests that hyperopia affects speed of recognition but not decoding, per se.