Focus on Performance | Toronto Teacher Mom

Focus on Performance

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

As a child, I felt rather lucky that I was one of few students in my class who needed to wear glasses. I still remember being given preferred seating when I was in Grade 1 and how excited I was when my teacher suggested I get my eyes checked. I always equated wearing glasses to being intellectual and sophisticated. (Yes, my dear Watson, I was slightly delusional.) Then, once my prescription had been filled and my parents had to pay out of pocket, the excitement dwindled. They didn't have health insurance and worked laboriously to make ends meet. So when I broke my frames a few months later while I was horsing around, I was mortified and too ashamed to tell my parents. Instead, I tucked them under the TV stand and pretended that I had lost them. At least that way there was still 'hope'.

This is what I would have looked like with
my first pair of glasses.

For many years, I went on with my daily activities and acted like my vision wasn't so bad. I only really needed glasses to read and watch television anyway. It wasn't until I had applied for my driving permit that I had to start wearing them again. And this time, I did not feel lucky at all. Not only was my poor vision the reason my parents had to spend money on new frames, it was also the reason my dad had to pay for car repairs. You see, while undergoing my eye exam, someone had backed their car into my dad's minivan, causing serious damage and resulting in a trip to the police station. Needless to say, this was not the most ideal way to start off my driving experience.

This is what I would have looked like with
contact lenses. And a bad perm.

In my teenage years, I really wanted to try contact lenses and there were many reasons why I longed to make the switch. On sunny days, all I wanted to do was put on a cool pair of sunglasses so I wouldn't have to squint. Summer months were particularly difficult, seeing as we would spend Sundays at the beach playing active games and sports with the family. In the back of my mind, I worried about breaking my glasses and being rendered helpless without a backup pair. Plus, my field of vision was limited to the size of my frames, making it harder to see, especially when it came to peripheral vision. To this day, I often wonder how much more enjoyable those days would have been if I had had contact lenses. And also, maybe I should have eaten more carrots when I was growing up...

As a teacher with two kids of my own, I can fully appreciate how wearing glasses can affect your performance in team sports and in the classroom as well. These days, it seems more and more students rely on corrective lenses to improve their vision. When they forget their glasses, lose them or break them, they struggle to accomplish the simplest of tasks throughout the day, such as copying the date into their notebook. As a mother, I hope that my children have inherited their father's optical genes but at the same time realize there is a chance that they could require glasses like me later on in life. In the event that they do, I will do my best to support them and will acknowledge the benefits of wearing contact lenses either as a complement to or a replacement for glasses.

Speaking of contact lenses, Olympic bronze soccer medalist, Kaylyn Kyle, has partnered with Bausch + Lomb to create a program called, 'Focus on Performance.' Dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of lenses, Kaylyn encourages parents and teens to consider using SofLens® daily disposable contact lenses during practices and games in the following video:

For more information, visit

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  1. I had to have glasses but my eyes were never 'that bad.' This year my D/L expired and you have to take a vision test to renew. I failed and had to break out my glasses that I use only to drive, to pass. *sigh* I knew my eyes were getting worse, I just didn't want them to be and hoped denial would keep it from being true. ;)

    1. I totally know the feeling. My vision is pretty bad now. I have to wear glasses all the time and worry so much about breaking them. I would be pretty helpless without them.

  2. My youngest just got glasses this year. She started to get headaches and I was so thankful to find out one of the reasons for this was that she needed glasses for distance. I see, through her, the stress not remembering those glasses, or fear of breaking them can cause...and am now very thankful for our insurance! When and if she wants and needs contacts I will run her to the Optometrist!

    1. I can totally remember the stress from fear of breaking my glasses. My parents never gave me any grief about paying out of pocket for my glasses but I knew even back then that it was a strain on them financially. Grateful that I have such a good benefit plan as a teacher.


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