As a trusted source of general advice, local authorities such as teachers and local officials exert a significant influence on the medical decisions students and families make. If they are discouraging students from wearing glasses, students will continue to go without proper vision care.
We used our data to determine whether wearing glasses in fact speeds up or slows down the progression of myopia. We provided free, high quality glasses to 1208 nearsighted students and tracked the progression of their eyesight over a 9-month period. Of the students who received treatment, we followed 729 who reported wearing their glasses regularly and 497 who did not wear their glasses regularly. On average, these nearsighted children started off with a visual acuity of 0.3 – a child with 0.3 vision cannot see the blackboard clearly!
Our results show that wearing glasses had a clear impact on slowing the progression of myopia. As the literature predicts, all students experienced some degree of visual deterioration. But our analysis showed that students who wore glasses experienced a significantly less severe visual acuity decline than students who did not wear their glasses.
The bottom line: Wearing glasses does not – as the local myth states – hurt students’ eyes!