Vision and Learning are Linked: What You Need to Know

Blog Post

The Cooper Institute
The Cooper Team
August 3, 2022

Source: OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation (formerly Vision Impact Institute)

Good vision can set a child up for success from the start. Being able to see well is key to physical and social development and to learning. Not all children can see well, and many of them are unaware of their issue, leaving parents and caretakers unaware too.

Here are five facts you need to know about the link between vision and learning to ensure that the children in your life can see and learn well:

  • Eighty percent (80%) of a child’s learning is through the eyes, yet 1 in 4 children in the U.S. has a vision problem. This leaves kids with poor vision at a major disadvantage.
  • Sixty percent of “problem learners” are believed to actually suffer from undetected or untreated vision problems. Several studies have shown that up to 40% of students diagnosed with a learning disability actually have a vision issue rather than a learning disability.
  • Good vision is critical for a child's social, cognitive, emotional and physical development (whole child). Problems with children’s vision have been shown to preclude or limit their lifelong academic, extracurricular sports activities, and social success.
  • Because vision is essential for children’s learning, the American Optometric Association recommends annual eye exams for all school-age children. Since there is no national standard for school vision screening requirements and vision screenings are rarely enough to detect all vision problems, an eye examination is the best solution to provide a comprehensive evaluation of eye functioning and vision health.
  • Myopia (nearsightedness) is one of the most common problems in children and the most widespread vision disability, currently affecting more than 2.2 billion people around the world. Increased digital device use can contribute to this issue. Research shows that balancing our children’s near work with the time they spend outdoors is one of the most effective actions we can take to delay the onset of myopia (nearsightedness) and slow its progression.

We must be our children’s best advocates. Parents, caretakers, and teachers should understand the risks to visual health and the importance (and simplicity) of vision correction and protection. Early intervention is key to ensuring that poor vision does not affect school readiness and performance or have irreversible consequences that could ultimately lead to severe visual impairment or blindness.


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