Finding the Truth Behind Common Eye Myths
Growing up you probably heard a few common eye myths. It might have been the time that Grandma told you to eat all of your carrots since they would improve your eyesight or it may have been the time that your mom told you to sit far from the TV so that you wouldn’t go blind. Let’s look at a couple of common eye myths and discover which carry truth and which are nothing but fiction.
Eye Myth 1: Reading in the Dark is Harmful to Your Eyes
It doesn’t matter if you are reading in full sunlight, dim light or in complete darkness, reading isn’t going to damage your eyes. It is true that it is easier to see when there is light and that reading in dim light can lead to eye fatigue, but eye fatigue is only a temporary condition and will not result in vision loss.
Another spin on this myth that you may have heard is that reading small print is bad for your eyes. This is also not true. It is easier to read in a well lit room and easier to see larger print, so you may want to flip on the lights when reading for convenience, but don’t do it just for your eyesight.
Eye Myth 2: Eating Carrots will Improve Eyesight
Carrots do not improve your ability to see, even if you happen to eat hundreds of them. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to eat your vegetables. Carrots like many other vegetables contain high levels of vitamin A. This is an important nutrient known for helping to maintain vision. So, while carrots won’t improve your eyesight, it is important to eat a balanced diet rich in many different types of fruits and vegetables. This healthy diet won’t improve vision, but it will help you to have the healthiest body possible and to provide your eyes with the nutrients that they need to maintain vision. Remember that carrots and dark leafy greens like spinach and broccoli contain important nutrients for eye health.
Eye Myth 3: Sitting Too Close to the TV Causes Blindness
Sitting too close to a TV or computer does not cause blindness, but looking at electronic screens for long periods of time can cause eye strain. Eye strain is a temporary condition that can result in discomfort or temporary vision reduction. When you are using the computer or watching TV the eye tends to blink less frequently than when you are not. This results in the eyes drying out and vision quality becoming compromised. You can reduce the amount of eye strain you experience by making a conscious effort to blink while looking at computer and TV screens and by taking frequent breaks so that your eyes can rest and recover.
Eye Myth 4: Visiting the Eye Doctor is Only Necessary When Problems Arise
Regular checkups and vision screenings are essential to your vision and eye health. A regular visit to the eye doctor is no less important than your yearly visit to the dentist or physician. Many eye conditions can be taken care of before permanent vision loss occurs and regular care can help your eye doctor to find problems early on so that treatment can begin. If you don’t have any eye problems you don’t need to go to the eye doctor as frequently as someone with an eye condition or vision loss, but you should still schedule an appointment every two to four years as your eye doctor recommends. Children should also receive regular eye exams as this can help parents to discover conditions like lazy eye (amblyopia) before serious vision loss occurs.
Eye Myth 5: Not Wearing Your Glasses Will Make Vision Worse
In most cases this myth is false, but there are a few conditions that require wearing glasses or contacts to avoid continued vision loss. Lazy eye or amblyopia is a good example of this. Children with this condition are at a great risk for permanent vision loss if their treatment plan is not followed. On the other hand with proper treatment this condition can often be reversed. Make sure that you follow the recommendations of your eye care professional at all times.
While there are some conditions that require wearing glasses regularly, most of the time not wearing your glasses won’t hurt your eyesight. Glasses are simply an aid to make vision more clear. If you don’t wear them, they can’t help your eyesight, but not wearing them won’t make your vision any worse than it already is.
As you can see there is a lot of confusion out there about what can and cannot hurt the eye. Protecting your vision is an important job, so make sure that you take the time to educate yourself and learn how to best care for your vision.
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