Education plays a pivotal role in shaping a child’s future. While there are a few generally accepted factors for setting them up for success in school, such as dedicated parents or caregivers, encouraging educators, and healthy habits, a surprising component is gaining prominence in the academic performance of students. The simple act of wearing glasses is proving to be a game-changer, with a growing body of research indicating that clear vision can boost students’ performance in school. This article explores the compelling connection between eyeglasses and academic achievement, shedding light on the potential benefits they bring to students of all ages.
How glasses impact student performance
A large-scale clinical study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University’s Wilmer Eye Institute found that students who received eyeglasses through a school-based program scored higher on reading and math tests, with the students who struggled the most academically showing the greatest improvement. According to the study’s lead author, Amanda J. Neitzel, the overall gains for students given glasses were equivalent to two to four months of additional education compared to students without glasses.
The study was done in collaboration with Baltimore City’s Vision for Baltimore program, which was launched in 2016 after Johns Hopkins researchers identified an urgent need for vision care among Baltimore’s public school students. Since the program’s inception, 64,000 students’ vision has been tested, and more than 8,000 pairs of glasses have been distributed. A similar initiative has also been successfully deployed in the UK through the Glasses in Classes program wherein students are provided with a second pair of glasses to be kept in school to ensure that they are worn in class.
Findings from the study reveal a broader trend many optometrists have been observing in their private practices worldwide. Many younger kids have been needing glasses due to myopia or nearsightedness. Historically, myopia has mainly been attributed to genetics, where having one parent with myopia doubles the odds of kids needing glasses while having two parents with myopia quintuples those odds.
Yet, optometrist Dr. Marina Su has noticed that a generation of children are seeing worse than their parents. Although the root cause of this shift is widely debated, optometrists are generally in agreement that pushing better vision habits in the form of limiting screen time, spending time outdoors, and, if need be, getting prescription glasses are crucial for kids’ eye health, which ultimately impacts their academic performance
Tips for parents
Parents today often find themselves increasingly concerned about how much time their children spend in front of screens. This digital age has given rise to worries about the potential impact on children’s vision. Prolonged screen time, coupled with poor viewing habits, can lead to a range of visual issues, such as eye strain, computer vision syndrome, and myopia.
For this, parents must ensure that their kids get regular eye checkups and purchase necessary prescription glasses. Fortunately, buying glasses online makes the process much easier. Nowadays, online optical retailers offer 2-for-1 promos on eyeglasses, accessible payment options through three interest-free payments, and even free home trials. After getting your kid’s prescription from an eye doctor, you can visit Glasses Direct to purchase frames like the Jaden or Elaine frames, which are both made of lightweight acetate for everyday comfort. The website also allows you to customize lenses specifically for your kid’s vision type and prescription needs.
As for limiting screen time, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that kids between ages 1 to 5 should spend no more than one hour daily in front of a device. There is no specific limit for older children and teens, but parents can set reasonable boundaries to ensure that screen time does not interfere with physical activity or sleep.
In a society that values education and its far-reaching impacts, the role of eyeglasses in enhancing students’ performance should not be underestimated. The ability to see clearly is not just a matter of convenience; it is an essential element in the educational journey of countless students.
For more educational articles like this, visit the Global Education Network website!