Ophthalmology & Optometry/Is it farsightedness?


My daughter (5) just recently failed her school vision screening after she couldn't read past the first line.  Prior to this, we had not noticed any problems. We began watching her to see if she could have vision problems.  We noticed that she is sitting closer to the tv, and holds coloring books and reading books very close as she reads and colors.   We have also been holding her flash cards several feet away, and then slowly moving closer.  She is unable to read the words on them until they are about 2 feet away.  We began to wonder if she could be nearsighted.  However, after an exam with an optometrist, we were shocked to hear that she was severely farsighted, with 20/200 vision.  He told us that she needed such a strong prescription it would be too hard for her at first, so he would start her off at +6 in the right eye and +6.5 in the left eye.  He also said that even with her glasses, she will not have better than 20/50 vision in her right eye, and 20/80 in the left.  We are considering getting a second opinion, but aren't sure. We live in a very rural area, and don't have many options nearby.  I am just not sure how she is farsighted when she can see objects up close well, and doesn't seem to have difficulty seeing most distant objects.  Should we get a second opinion? Could she actually be farsighted?  And how could her vision be so bad yet we have noticed no problems... No headaches, tired eyes, eye rubbing, cross eyed, etc.  She reads well, does well in school, and is very observant when driving, playing, etc.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


High farsightedness is very commonly a cause of blurred vision like you are describing.

To answer your question on how she functions well: kids are great at adapting! She doesn't know what she should or shouldn't see, and has learned how to function with what she has.

It's not bad to get a second opinion if you can, but everything that you told me lines up very well.

I would have her wear the glasses and go back for followups to watch the vision. The prescription may change, but the concern is that even with glasses on, she's only seeing 20/50 and 20/80. We need that to get better so she doesn't have issues in school and later in life.

High hyperopia, or farsightedness, is very commonly a cause of amblyopia, which it sounds like your daughter has.

Here is a link to read about amblyopia...


Good Luck!

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John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO


As a residency-trained Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry I am able to answer most questions regarding eye and vision health. Anything is welcome, ranging from dry or allergy eyes, bifocal contact lenses, or thoughts on LASIK surgery. As I am not a surgeon, detail-oriented surgical-related questions may be better answered by an ophthalmologist.


Selected to participate in the PCO residency program in Philadelphia at The Eye Institute, where I worked OD and MD specialists gaining invaluable experience in various clinics including glaucoma, cornea and cataract, oculo-plastics, retinal disease, neuro-ophthalmic disease, primary care, emergency medicine, and special populations. Have practiced and trained in numerous settings including hospital, academic, retail and private practice. I earned my Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). There are currently only about 3000 active fellows worldwide, and there are only about 70 Fellows in the state of Virginia. I currently own and operate my own optometric practice/clinic.

American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association (Contact Lens/Cornea Section member since 2001), Southwest Virginia Optometric Association, Virginia Tech Alumni Association

“Nyctalopia as the Presenting Sign of Vitamin A Deficiency: A Late Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Denver, Colorado, December 2006, co-authored with Bradley Lane, OD.
“The Importance of Considering Paranasal Sinus Mucocele as a Differential Diagnosis in Diplopia.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry San Diego, California, December 2005, co-authored with Kelly Malloy, OD, FAAO and Cherie Farkash, OD.
“Acute Onset of Halos and Glare: Bilateral Keratitis—An Atypical Presentation of Amiodarone Keratopathy.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Tampa, Florida December 2004. Also Presented to New Jersey Academy of Optometry, Neptune, New Jersey March 2005.
“The Opportunity for an Optometrist to Save a Life.” Clinical Case Study and Grand Rounds Presentation presented at The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2004.
“Corneal whorls cause wonder.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 10/15/2006.
“Acute onset of halos and glare: bilateral corneal epithelial edema with cystic eruptions--atypical presentation of amiodarone keratopathy.” Co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO. Published February, 2006, Optometry.
“Pondering the posterior polka-dots.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 5/15/2005.
Professional Involvement:
“AION: Amiodarone-Induced or Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy?” Participated as a peer-review referee for Expert Review of Ophthalmology (London, UK); refereed 10/2006.

Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Virginia Tech. Bachelor of Science, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Doctorate (OD), Pennsylvania College of Optometry Residency, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

Awards and Honors
Winner, First Place, "Best Beside Manner" by Our Health Magazine: 2012, 2013, 2014 Winner, First Place, "Best Eye Doctor" by The Roanoke Times: 2013, 2014 Recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, December, 2006 Recipient of the Onofrey G. Rybachok Memorial Scholarship, 2000-2001 Member: The Golden Key International Honor Society Member: The National Biological Honor Society Member: The National Honor Society Eagle Scout awarded 1994

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