“REALLY, WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT?”
COMMON MYTH’S ABOUT YOUR EYES!
Do you remember what your Momma always told you about eating carrots? How about sitting too close to the TV? Will squinting make your eyes worse? There are many misconceptions out there about eyes and vision. Behind some of these myths is a glimmer of truth…
Myth #1 SQUINTING
The truth is that squinting can NOT make your vision worse or damage your eyes. All it really means is that you do not have perfect vision, and glasses may help to correct this. You see, when you squint your eyes, this cuts down on the unfocused light entering your eye, which allows you to see better. At most, people who constantly squint may get headaches due to the constant contraction of the muscles around the eye.
Myth #2 CARROTS
Eating carrots to improve your vision is only a partial myth. Yes, eating healthy is a great thing, & there are many foods that are good for the eyes. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyes & good vision and can be found in other foods as well. However, dramatically increasing your intake of vitamin A will not give a super boost to your vision.
Myth #3 GLASSES DEPENDENCE
Have you ever heard someone say, “My eyes are so dependent on glasses – if I’d never worn them, I wouldn’t need them so much right now!” This is a myth. Glasses or contact lenses only help to bring your vision into focus when you wear them. They do not change the eyes or make them worse. For people feeling discouraged due to increasing dependence on reading glasses, keep in mind that this is a natural deterioration of vision due to age-related changes in the crystalline lens of the eye.
Myth #4 COMPUTERS & TELEVISION
Some people used to believe that sitting to close to the TV would cause damage to the eyes. The truth is, sitting too close to the TV and/or computer cannot permanently damage your eyes but it can make them temporarily uncomfortable. When we concentrate on TV or computer, we tend not to blink as often. This causes the eyes to dry out more easily because they are not being rewetted as frequently. The result is discomfort or even blurry vision. Keep in mind that if your child is choosing to sit close to the TV, it could be a sign of near-sightedness, especially if they say they cannot see it from across the room.
Myth #5 STARING AT THE SUN
According to some “new age” spiritualists, gazing at the sun increases energy levels decreases appetite. There is no science to back up this claim and sungazerous. Prolonged, direct exposure to the sun’s rays can result in Solar Retinopathy, damage to the special light-detecting cells in the back of the eye. There is a reason why looking directly at the sun is uncomfortable! It is ALWAYS a good idea to wear sunglasses with UVA & UVB protection on them and avoid staring directly at the sun.
Written by Bart W., Technician at Milwaukee Eyecare Associates