When it comes to health, it is important we know all the facts. The internet is a great resource, but for every fact there is a myth or story floating around the internet too. Eye health is no different, with plenty of false claims and solutions, all trying to make a fast buck.
At WeLoveLenses, we know the importance of good eye health. We want to make sure all our customers remain informed by debunking some common eye myths and old wives tales.
Here are ten of the most common eye myths.
Eating Carrots can Improve your Eyesight
Carrots are rich in Beta Carotene which the body uses to get Vitamin A to get to the eyes and other parts. While a good diet is important to help maintain good eye health, vision problems are usually physiological. These can range from the distance between the retina and the lens to the cornea being misshapen or distorted and therefore can’t be corrected chemically.
Eye Exercises Will Improve your Vision
This myth has been around since the early 1900’s. These methods are still highly controversial and are yet to be proven as beneficial to the eyes. There is no scientific merit to any claims that assert exercises can improve your vision, with many products on the market removed due to this.
Problems to your vision are usually due to the shape of the eyes cornea or the distance from the retina to the lens and therefore can’t be fixed with regular eye exercises.
The Eye is Full Sized at Birth
It is a common misconception that the eye remains the same size from birth. The eye actually measures approximately 18 mm at birth, 19.5 mm as an infant and increase to around 24-25 mm as an adult. This makes the eye at birth roughly 2/3 smaller than that of a fully formed adult eye.
Reading Small Print or in Dim Light Can Wear Out or Harm your Eyes
Although in the short term your eyes may experience some pain, this is likely due to eye strain and will not cause any permanent damage to your eyes. The eye should be thought of as more of a camera (the lens) than a muscle, the photograph will be poor quality but the camera itself won’t be damaged.
Although it doesn’t cause long term damage it is always recommended to read in a well lit area so as to avoid eye strain, tiredness and headaches. If you experience prolonged symptoms it might be worth getting your eyes examined to see if you needglasses or contact lenses.
Sitting too Close to the Television can Damage your Eyes
Although this might cause temporary eye strain or headaches for adults, sitting close to the TV won’t cause permanent damage to your eyes. Studies have proven that children can actually focus up close to objects better than adults without eyestrain.
However, this could also be a sign of nearsightedness (myopia). If a child continues to read or watch TV up close it is recommended that they are taken to get their eyes checked as they may need corrective glasses or contact lenses.
Children can Outgrow Crossed or Misaligned Eyes
Unfortunately a child does not outgrow crossed eyes. Research by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that
“a child whose eyes are misaligned may develop poor vision in one eye because the brain will “turn off” or ignore the image from the misaligned or lazy eye.”
Although a child cannot grow out of misaligned eyes, there are techniques to improve and treat this aliment. By taking your child to the opticians to be examined by an Ophthalmologist in the early stages, treatments such as eye patches, surgery or eye drops can be used to try and improve the condition.
Working on Computers or Video Display Terminals (VDTs) will Damage your Eyes
As with anything, staring at something for long enough will cause your eyes discomfort and eyestrain, sometimes dryness. When using a computer it is important to take plenty of breaks.
All Eye Care Providers are the same
Each eye care professional has their own individual role.
An Optician is specially trained to fit and adjust your eye glasses and contact lenses. They are also known as a Dispensing Optician, because they supply your contact lens and glasses prescriptions. They do not perform eye examinations which is a common misconception. This is actually performed by an Optometrist.
An Optometrist (O.D) also known as an Ophthalmic Optician in some countries, is not a medical doctor but is trained to carry out your eye examination. They test your eye for abnormalities and are able to prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses. In severe cases an Optometrist may refer the patient onto an Ophthalmologist for further investigation.
An Ophthalmologist (M.D) or Doctor of Opthalmology (D.O) is a medically trained eye specialist. They study the anatomy and physiology of the eye as well as various eye diseases. As qualified medical professionals, Ophthalmologists carry out any necessary eye surgeries that are required.
A Cataract must be Ripe before it can be Removed
Technology has advanced to a stage where people don’t have to wait for a cataracts to be fully developed. If it is impairing your vision, it is important to get a cataracts fixed no matter what stage it is at.
Cataracts can be Removed with a Laser
Although laser technology in constantly evolving, lasers are not yet used to remove cataracts. Surgical instruments are still used to make an incision in the eye and an intraocular lens implant is usually inserted to replace the affected cloudy area. Many patients believe it is laser surgery as it is a relatively quick out-patient procedure.