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Question:
My daughter had her eyes tested because she was battling with reading. During the eye test we noticed that any digit or letter that is curved like a 9, 3, an "a", or a "c," she was recognizing as a zero. What is this condition called?

Answer:
There is not a specific name for this condition. The most common cause for such errors on a standard eye test is a refractive error, which can be corrected with glasses. Young children will often make such mistakes even if their vision is perfect, identifying an "F" as a "P" or a "D" as an "O" or a "zero," for example. So, your daughter’s inaccurate identification of letters on the eye chart may be related to a need for glasses, or may just be age related.

I suspect that you are worried that your child may have dyslexia. If this is your worry, you should understand that inaccurate identification of letters as you have described does not suggest dyslexia. Dyslexia is a condition that is not diagnosed by an eye care specialist, but rather by a specialist who is trained and qualified in the assessment of learning disabilities. This may include learning disability specialists, psychologists, and medical doctors with special training in this area.

Answered by: David K. Coats, MD Dr. David K. Coats

Categories: Children's Eye Health

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Answered: Mar 13, 2013

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