Nearsightedness connected to education: Do glasses show you are smarter?


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Jun 27 2014 - 8:26pm

Nearsightedness has been connected to education in a new study from the University Medical Center in Germany. The research, published in the journal Ophthalmology, reveals that spending more time in school and achieving a greater level of education are tied to the likelihood of a person getting nearsightedness.

Nearsightedness and education links

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, refers to blurred vision that makes it difficult to see objects located far away. It is a common problem that affects children and adults around the world, and it is usually corrected through glasses, contact lenses, surgery or other treatments. Most cases of myopia are found in children while they are in elementary or middle school, but it is possible to require glasses for nearsightedness at any point in a person’s life.


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Researchers have discovered a link between education and nearsightedness that appears to show a strong connection to the level of education a person receives. In the study, 53 percent of the people who graduated from college had myopia while only 24 percent of the people who did not finish high school had the eye condition.

Do glasses show you are smarter?

The study has found that every year of education seems to make nearsightedness worse, so people who spend more time in school have higher prescriptions. The use of glasses to look smarter has been a debated point in communities ranging from fashion forums to career centers. However, the research does show a link, and nearsightedness has been increasing around the world at the same time that more people pursue an education and spend time online. For example, Asia has seen a rise of 80 percent in myopia cases in recent years. Despite the connection, researchers warn that the link will need to be tested in more studies, and they would prefer to see children spend more time outside to diminish their risk of developing the condition.

Image: Frank C. Müller/Wikimedia Commons

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