Simulated bilateral hyperopia and sustained near work each independently impaired reading, visual information processing, and reading-related eye movement performance (p < 0.001). A significant interaction was also demonstrated between these factors (p < 0.05), with the greatest decrement in performance observed when simulated hyperopia was combined with sustained near work. This combination resulted in performance reductions of between 5 and 24% across the range of academic-related measures. A significant moderate correlation was also found between the change in horizontal near heterophoria and the change in several of the academic-related outcome measures, after the addition of simulated hyperopia.
A relatively low level of simulated bilateral hyperopia impaired children’s performance on a range of academic-related outcome measures, with sustained near work further exacerbating this effect. Further investigations are required to determine the impact of correcting low levels of hyperopia on academic performance in children.