Has anyone ever told you that reading in dim lighting damages your eyesight? Or, that your eyes can get weaker if you wear prescription lenses? These are just two examples of common eye care misconceptions that are still prevalent today.
Curious about other myths you may have heard about your eyesight? Read on to learn about eight misconceptions—and why these beliefs aren’t actually true!
You’ve probably heard at some point in your life that reading in dim lighting can damage your eyesight. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Just like every other part of your body, your eyes naturally grow weaker as you get older—especially when you hit your 30s. So, if you once were able to read in the dark and now find it difficult, it probably has more to do with age and less to do with damaged eyesight. In any case, reading is always good for your eye health, so don’t let this misconception keep you from your page-turner!
Carrots are loaded with vitamins that are essential for eye health, including Vitamin A and beta-carotene. While these vitamins help protect your eyes and can support overall eye health, eating carrots will not directly improve your eyesight.
Like carrots, dark leafy greens and other fruits and vegetables promote healthy eyesight, but no diet can reverse or correct basic vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Maybe you’ve heard it’s inevitable that you’ll have to wear glasses when you get older. While it’s extremely common for individuals to develop a need for prescription lenses as they age, it is possible to avoid age-related vision loss.
You can start protecting your eyesight when you’re younger by taking precautionary steps like:
When you were little, did your parents ever tell you that sitting too close to the TV would cause you to go blind? While that’s obviously an exaggeration, many do believe that getting too close to the television and other screens can damage your vision. However, this is not backed by any concrete research. Rather, this belief began because the first TVs used to emit radiation—but, this hasn’t been the case for decades!
Children have a tendency to sit close to TV screens and hold books up to their face because their young eyes allow them to focus on close objects more easily than adults’ eyes do. This habit usually changes as they get older—however, if you have an older child who still sits close to screens, it may be a sign of myopia (nearsightedness). Therefore, regular eye exams are important, even for young children, to stay on top of their eye health.
Have you ever heard that you should hold off on wearing prescription lenses because your eyes will become dependent on them, causing eyesight to become worse? Well, you may be relieved to know this is just another common misconception!
If you need the assistance of prescription lenses to see more clearly, using those lenses will never make your eyes weaker. As time passes, you may need a stronger prescription, but that has nothing to do with previously wearing glasses or contacts. Instead, it’s the result of your eye condition changing with age and time. Wearing prescription lenses doesn’t make your eyesight weaker; the lenses simply act as an aid to help you see better.
There’s a prevalent belief that you only need to wear sunglasses in the summertime. This, however, is a myth that can actually lead to significant eye damage. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are just as powerful in the winter months as they are in the summer, but UV rays actually reflect more frequently off of snow and cloud coverage.
Your eyes are just as much at risk of photokeratitis (eye sunburn) in the winter as in the summer, so it’s important to wear UV-blocking sunglasses year round, and not just on the beach.
Have you ever wondered if your childhood nightlight contributed to your nearsightedness? Maybe you have children of your own, and you’re concerned that putting a nightlight in their room might cause the same problem. While this belief stems from a previous research study performed in the 1990s, more recent research has disproved this common eye care misconception. In fact, it’s now believed that placing a nightlight in a baby’s room might actually help improve their eyesight, teaching them to focus on light and develop eye coordination from a young age.
For many patients, annual eye exams seem a little excessive, especially if they don’t have any current eye problems. However, even individuals with 20/20 vision should have regular eye exams to ensure their vision stays in tip-top shape. Many eye diseases develop slowly over time—often without any real warning signs—but can lead to blindness, such as:
Because these eye diseases develop without overt symptoms, it’s important to have annual eye exams, regardless of your current vision. Only a trained professional will be able to catch these conditions in their early stages, greatly increasing your likeliness of stopping them in their tracks and protecting your eyes.
Many people still believe these common eye care misconceptions, which are often due to old research that experts have since disproved. However, you can protect your vision by learning more about eye care and adopting healthy habits that support your eyesight!
Mather Vision Group is an optometry office in Lafayette, Indiana. Contact us to schedule an appointment, or stop in to see our wide variety of glasses and frames. You can find us online, on Facebook, and on Google+.