Myths About Protecting Eyes

Good eyesight is precious.  It should never be taken for granted and out of all the senses eyesight is the one most people cite they would not want to lose.  Protecting our eyesight over the years is not to be neglected.  But there are certain myths or shall we say, wives tales that abound that do need to be clarified.  Here are 5 common myths that are debunked:

·         Myth no. 1 – Your eyesight will become worse if you read in dim lighting

Reading in dim light will not make your eyesight worse but it can put a strain on your eyes making it difficult for the eyes to focus causing short-term eyestrain. Trying to focus and read in dim light is not pleasurable anyway.  The solution is to have a reading light shining directly onto the page and not over your shoulder.  If reading at a desk, use a desk lamp with an opaque shade pointed directly at what you are reading.

·         Myth no. 2 – It is not good on the eyes to be staring at a computer all day

The main harm to the eyes of looking at a computer for long periods is eyestrain, tired eyes or blurred vision but it does not damage the eyes.  Be aware how often you blink when looking at a computer as people tend to start at a computer screen without blinking as often causing the eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable.  To make it easier on the eyes, adjust lighting so there is not a glare or harsh reflection on the screen.  Use the 20-20-20 rule – this reminds you that every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.  Also remember to consciously blink your eyes regularly so they stay lubricated preventing dryness. 

·         Myth no. 3 – The best food for eyes are carrots

Even though carrots are rich in vitamin A which is good for the eyes, many other fresh fruits and veggies contain not only vitamin A but also antioxidants such as vitamin C and E.  These antioxidants have an important job of protecting the eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  But as far as correcting vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, they do not any effect on that.

·         Myth no. 4 - Eye exercises are good for avoiding to have to wear glasses

It’s tempting to want to do eye exercises to prevent the need for glasses – it makes sense.  We exercise our heart muscle through aerobic exercise to prevent heart disease.  But our vision depends on several factors such as the shape of our eyeball and the health of the eye tissues which eye exercises cannot alter or improve. Plus there is no scientific evidence that shows eye exercises work. 

·         Myth no. 5 - During the day, it’s best to remove glasses or contact lenses to give your eyes a break and to rest

The need for glasses or contacts is to help us see better particularly for basic needs of reading, driving, or seeing long distances.  If you take off your glasses or remove contact lenses during the day, it can put more strain on your eyes, tiring them out instead of resting them – and definitely do not do this when driving.