“Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.”
False. Many of us remember our parents telling us not to read in the dark. Reading in a dim or dark environment does not harm your eyes. You may experience symptoms such as headaches or eye strain, but reading in the dark will not damage your eyes or your vision.
“Using computers can damage your eyes.”
False. Working on computers or video display terminals (VDTs) will not harm your eyes. Often, when using a VDT for long periods of time, just as when reading or doing other close work, you blink less often than normal. This reduced rate of blinking makes your eyes dry, which may lead to the feeling of eyestrain or fatigue. Try to take regular breaks to look up or across the room. Keep the monitor between 18 to 24 inches from your face and at a slight downward angle. Also consider the use of artificial tears. If your vision blurs or your eyes tire easily, you should have your eyes examined by an eye doctor.
“Wearing the wrong kind of eyeglasses damages your eyes.”
False. Eyeglasses are devices used to sharpen your vision. Although correct eyeglasses help you to see clearly, wearing a pair with the wrong lenses, or not wearing glasses at all, will not physically damage your eyes. However, children less than eight years old who need eyeglasses should wear their own prescription to prevent the possibility of developing amblyopia or “lazy eye.”
False. Children can focus at close distance without eyestrain better than adults. They often develop the habit of holding reading materials close to their eyes or sitting right in front of the television. There is no evidence that this damages their eyes, and the habit usually diminishes as children grow older. Children with nearsightedness (myopia) sometimes sit close to the television in order to see the images more clearly.
“Eating carrots improves your vision.”
False. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is essential for sight, but many other foods also contain this vitamin. A well-balanced diet, with or without carrots, provides all the vitamin A necessary for good vision.
“People with weak eyes should avoid reading fine print.”
False. It is said that people with weak eyes or people who wear glasses will “wear out” their eyes sooner if they read fine print or do a lot of detail work. The concept of the eye as a muscle is incorrect. The eye more closely resembles a camera. A camera will not wear out sooner just because it is used to photograph intricate detail. You can use your eyes without fear of wearing them out.
“Wearing eyeglasses will cause you to become dependent on them.”
False. This is probably the biggest myth in eye and vision care. Eyeglasses simply focus your camera. Since clear vision with eyeglasses is preferable to uncorrected vision, you may find that you want to wear your eyeglasses more often. Although it may feel as if you are becoming dependent on your eyeglasses, you are actually just getting used to seeing clearly.
“A cataract must be ‘ripe’ before it is removed.”
False. With older surgical techniques, it was thought to be safer to remove a cataract when it was “ripe.” With today’s modern surgical procedures, a cataract can be removed whenever it begins to interfere with a person’s lifestyle. If you are unable to see well enough to do the things you like or need to do, you should consider cataract surgery. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract.
“Eyes can be transplanted.”
False. Medical science has no way to transplant whole eyes. Our eyes are connected to the brain by the optic nerve. Much like a fiber optic cable, the optic nerve is made up of more than one million tiny nerve fibers. This nerve cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. Because of this, the eye is never removed from its socket during surgery. The cornea, the clear front part of the eye, has been successfully transplanted for many years. Corneal transplant is sometimes confused with an eye transplant.
“Exercises Can Improve Vision”
False. While there is some truth to eye exercises (also known as vision training) to help reduce or eliminate eye muscle problems such as strabismus or amblyopia, despite those convincing radio advertisements, there is really no real exercise that can eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
If you would like to get any of these myths cleared up in person, schedule an appointment to come on in and discuss them with us. Contact us for your appointment.
10 Common Eye Myths