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Boosting Self-Esteem of Nearsighted Kids

January 26, 1998|BARBARA THOMAS

A study reveals that switching from eyeglasses to contact lenses improves the self-esteem of extremely nearsighted children.

The three-year Indiana study followed 125 nearsighted children ages 10 to 13 when the study began. One group of children switched from glasses to contact lenses and another group continued to wear glasses.

Contrary to popular belief that glasses affect a child's self-image, the self-esteem of children in both groups grew throughout the study.

The study, however, suggested that contact lenses provided a boost for children who wore thick glasses for extreme nearsightedness and for those who started wearing glasses at an early age.

Children with severe nearsightedness had lower self-image scores in appearance and popularity categories, but their scores in categories such as behavior, intelligence, anxiety and happiness were similar to those who weren't as nearsighted.

The study was conducted by researchers at Hanover College in Indiana and Indiana University College of Optometry.

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