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Effect of Visual Impairments on Academic Performance


Caroline Kovarski


Universite de Lyon




Universite de Lyon


Many teens underestimate their visual discomfort even though it can have an impact on their academic performance. The prevalence of visual impairments among 400 participants between the ages of 15 and 22 (average age 17.4) was studied and findings were compared to participants’ academic standing.


Vision is a complex phenomenon that to be effective requires all organic components involved to be intact. In the first few years of life, the eye develops to capture the best optical image possible, hinging on three components: the axial length of the eye, the refractive power of the cornea (transparent surface in front of the iris), and the refractive power of the crystalline lens (internal lens of the eye). Any imbalance between these three elements will cause a refractive disorder, or ametropia. Whether symptoms develop or not will depend on the type and scope of the refractive disorder (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism). Corrections of ametropia aim merely to reestablish emmetropization and to reduce the symptoms of visual confusion or dysfunction [1-4]. The eyeball is contained in the eye socket, which also houses the six extraocular muscles. The extraocular muscles grant mobility to the eyeball and enable the fixation mechanism that contributes to normal binocular vision. A relationship exists between accommodation, the process by which the eye focuses on an object, and convergence, the process that merges the retinal images of the right and left eyes[4-10].

Vision-related symptoms can be caused by: inadequate optical correction, binocular vision anomalies, anomalies in accommodation, or the prolonged use of vision in conditions of stress and/or poor ergonomics [11].

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