August 11, 2023
Correcting refractive errors in children poses many challenges when left undetected and untreated. Spectacles have long been a trusted instrument for correcting refractive problems for students in academics and daily activities. This fact is essential to comprehend students' attitudes toward wearing glasses and their practice patterns to overcome potential obstacles and encourage the widespread use of correct spectacles. Cultural norms, personal preferences, peer influence, self-perception, and individual experiences often influence attitudes toward spectacle use among students. Many students understand the advantages of wearing spectacles and have a positive attitude toward them. They recognize that spectacles can improve their eyesight, enhance academic achievement, and simplify daily tasks. However, some students may not prioritize their visual health or understand the value of wearing spectacles. They might be unaware of how visual impairment affects their ability to focus on class or their overall well-being. Unfortunately, stigmatizing refractive problems can occasionally lead to negative opinions about wearing spectacles. Students may be reluctant to take advantage of the corrective benefits of spectacles due to concerns about being seen as "unattractive," which can make them feel self-conscious. Females are more likely than boys to stigmatize wearing spectacles because they tend to believe that females who wear spectacles are not ideal marriage candidates. They may also feel that wearing glasses hinders their participation in extracurricular activities. Peer pressure and the desire to fit in can influence students' opinions about wearing spectacles. Some students may choose not to wear spectacles if doing so is stigmatized or considered uncool by their peers to avoid teasing or exclusion. On the other hand, positive peer experiences or role models who wear spectacles can influence children to accept vision correction.
Practice patterns regarding glasses use vary among students for a variety of reasons. The level of awareness about the importance of eye health and the need for spectacles can significantly impact practice patterns. Lack of awareness about the potential impact of uncorrected refractive errors on academic performance and eye health can be a significant barrier to adopting spectacles. Wearing spectacles can sometimes be associated with a negative self-image or social stigma. Students, especially adolescents, may also fear being teased or bullied by their peers, leading to reluctance to wear spectacles. The cost of spectacles can be a significant factor affecting practice patterns among students in developing countries. Many families in these countries may require more financial resources, and purchasing spectacles for their children might be considered a lower priority than other essential needs such as food, housing, or education. A multi-pronged approach is necessary to address the challenges associated with attitudes and practice patterns toward wearing spectacles. Educational institutions, eye care professionals, parents, philanthropic organizations, and society should collaborate to create an environment that supports and encourages students to embrace spectacles for refractive error correction. School-wide initiatives, including awareness campaigns, regular vision screenings, and providing free spectacles, particularly for economically challenged students, can play a pivotal role in identifying students with refractive errors and promoting early intervention. Students' perspectives should be given high importance when designing refractive error programs. The low self-esteem and stigmas associated with spectacle use among students can be effectively addressed through health and education information, allowing students to use spectacles and improve their quality of life.