Do you subscribe to eye care myths?

Eye Care Myths

We live with many superstitions and myths about many aspects of life. Eye care and vision is no different some of these old-wives tales have a specter of truth mixed with a healthy dose falsehoods.  this is no wonder due to the fact the eye is composed of 2 million intricately working parts. The complex structure of the eye makes the fact we have vision at all a miracle.

Here are some common myths and facts related to the eyes.

  1. Myth: Eat carrots and enjoy good vision.
    1. Fact: Carrots contain vitamin A which is important to proper functioning of the eye, but the eye needs more the carrots. They won’t ensure 20/20 vision or even improved night vision. Vitamin A is also found in many other foods like milk, cheese, eggs, liver and many many others.
  2. Myth: Artificial sweetener use does not affect your eyes.
    1. Fact: Actually artificial sweeteners that contain cyclamates can cause increased light sensitivity.
    2. Infact many medications like those for blood pressure, diabetes, oral contraceptives and antibiotics can often cause increase light sensitivity and even dryness.
  3. Myth: Wearing my glasses just makes my eyes worse and more dependent on glasses.
    1. Fact: This is not a correct conclusion, as we age the trend if for our eyes to develop more myopia and then the vision degenerates further in our 40s and 50s.
    2. Wearing proper glasses compensates for an anatomic or physiological issue. your eyes will get worse with of without glasses, but at least with glasses you can focus clearly until the vision starts changing again.
  4. Myth: Sitting to close to tv makes your eye worse
    1. Fact: sitting close to the tv is often a symptom of vision needing correction. It is not the cause, although sitting close to the screen can cause eye strain or headaches. If you see this behavior in children they should have an eye exam.
  5. Myth:It is not harmful to look directly at the sun or watch a welder weld.
    1. Fact: Never look directly at the sun or watch a welder weld. Both emit high energy ultraviolet light that permanently damages the cornea, lens and retina. This activity can lead to macular degeneration as an adult and also cause early cataract formation.
  6. Myth: You can wear your eyes out by over using them.
    1. Fact: You eye is not like a light bulb where they are only good for so many hours. We encourage you to enjoy your vision since the majority of our world inputs visually, we encourage you to use them as much as you would like,
  7. Myth: Wearing poorly fit contacts does not harm your eyes.
    1. Fact: Yes they can and often will harm your eyes and impact your vision by disrupting the cornea that can affect the structural integrity. This is why it is important to have your eyes checked regularly and be fitted properly by an eye doctor.
  8. Myth: It is okay to wear contacts while swimming.
    1. Fact: this is NEVER a good idea. There are parasites and bacteria in the water that would love to set up an infection of your eyes. To name one, it would have to be acanthamoeba.
  9. Myth: Safety glasses are more trouble than they are worth.
    1. Fact: There is no end to patients  that would testify that that statement is both stupid and dangerous. It only takes one time to live with a lifetime of regret. Like the old saying goes an ounce of prevention yields … .
  10. Myth: Eyes can be transplanted.
    1. Fact: This is partially true but only about corneas. The eye is connected to the brain by the optic nerve and once that is severed or damaged with the technology we currently have it can not be reattached.
  11. Myth: Computers can damage your eyes.
    1. Fact: Computer can cause strain, headaches and dryness but they in and of themselves are not harmful.
  12. Myth: reading in dim light is harmful to the eyes.
    1. Fact: While no studies show this to be accurate I still encourage proper lighting to do the appropriate task.
  13. Myth: A child can outgrow crossed eyes
    1. Fact: People do not out grow strabismus, which is the technical term for crossed eyes. The earlier it is caught the better the chance it is to correct it. This highlights one of the important aspects of early childhood eye exams done by an eye doctor.  The longer the condition goes untreated the more likely that child will not develop useful vision in that eye.
  14. Myth: Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal lenses.
    1. Fact: There is some controversy and papers written to support both Benjamin Franklin and an English optician named Samuel peirce who was thought to be the actual inventor of bifocals around 1775.
  15. Myth: Night lights are harmful to vision
    1. Fact: There is not enough evidence to support the claim that a nightlight is harmful to a child’s visual development. It was once thought that they may contribute to nearsightedness, but now the is evidence that they make actually help with development.


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