As children, our well-intentioned parents probably told us not to do a number of things they thought would hurt us, including many warnings about potentially harming our eyes. We have all heard these “myths” at one time or another, but how many – if any – of them are true? Let’s find out with this blog.
MYTH 1: Staring at a Computer All Day Will Ruin Your Eyes
While staring at a computer screen all day may cause eyestrain or tired, blurry eyes, it will not permanently damage your vision. Make sure your screen is properly positioned to minimize eye stress, adjust lighting to avoid screen glare, and take regular breaks to rest your eyes. If dry eyes are a problem (from blinking less frequently while looking at a screen), ask your eye doctor to recommend some helpful eye drops.
MYTH 2: Eating Carrots Is Good for Your Eyes
Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A – a key nutrient in maintaining normal vision. Orange, yellow and green fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that may also help protect your eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. However, unless you have a severe vitamin A deficiency – which can cause vision problems, including blindness – eating extra carrots won’t make bad vision better.
MYTH 3: Reading in Dim Light Will Damage Your Eyes
While dim light can make it more difficult for the eyes to focus, causing short-term eye fatigue, there is no scientific evidence that doing so causes long-term damage to your eyes. Your eyes are actually designed to adjust to different levels of light – in dim light, your pupils enlarge to allow more light to reach your retinas. If you find yourself straining to read, use a lamp whose light points directly at your reading material.
MYTH 4: Staring Directly at the Sun Will Ruin Your Eyes
Your mother was right about this one – staring directly into the sun can cause permanent damage to your retina from UV radiation, and can occur in as little as two minutes! Sunglasses may actually make the damage worse by allowing you to stare longer at the sun without pain. The most dangerous times are at midday (when the sun is brightest) and during a solar eclipse (when the brightness of the sun is hidden). To protect your eyes, NEVER look directly into the sun!
MYTH 5: There’s Nothing You Can Do to Prevent Vision Loss
At the very first sign of symptoms, such as blurry vision, eye pain, flashes of light, or even sudden onset of floaters in your eyesight, you should see your physician. If discovered early enough, depending on the reason, there are treatments that can correct, stop, or at least slow down the loss of vision.
We hope this blog will debunk most eye-care myths for you.