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The Link Between Nearsightedness and Years Spent in School

Education and NearsightednessFor many students, the amount of time spent in school can have an impact on a lot of things.  Typically, the more school you go through, the more likely it is that you’ll get a better degree, earn more money over the long run, and have better job satisfaction than someone who didn’t complete high school.  In fact, the lesson here seems to be stay in school, and everything will be coming up roses.

While it’s certainly worthwhile to attain higher degrees of education, a surprising new study has revealed that not everything benefits from lengthy years in the educational system.  In fact, the more time you spend in school, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer from nearsightedness.

In a recent German study published in Ophthalmology – an American Academy of Ophthalmology publication – researchers found that more than half of students who successfully completed college have nearsightedness (myopia).  This is in comparison to just a third of students who graduated high school.  For those students who never went to high school, only 25% of them were found to suffer from nearsightedness.  What’s more, researchers discovered that vision plummeted for each year spent in school, and that a person’s level of education was a greater indicator of nearsightedness – greater than genetics, in fact.[1]

In a country where over 42% of the population suffers from nearsightedness, presenting a link between education and vision is a compelling reason for examining why this might occur in the first place.  Researchers have suggested that being stuck indoors and working on computers could contribute to the problem.  While the jury’s still out, it’s worth noting that these researchers suggest students spend as much time as possible outdoors in order to rest their eyes.  At the very least, students should be taking five-minute breaks from staring at a screen for every hour they spend on the computer.

It’s important to track your child’s vision throughout his or her school year, as nearsightedness can lead to a variety of academic and behavioral issues.  That’s why parents should schedule regular eye exam appointments with their ophthalmologist.  At NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA – also serving the greater Washington DC, Fairfax County, and Northern Virginia areas – Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths can provide your child with the yearly check-ups he or she needs to enjoy healthy vision for life.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Griffiths and her team at NewView today. Just complete the form in the top left corner or call 703-834-9777.