How much do you really know about your eyes? Do you know enough to separate the fact from the fiction? Which of these 10 common eye care myths are true? Which ones are false? Test yourself below.
FALSE: Are you worried about wearing out your eyes? Don’t be. You may have heard that it is bad to read in low light or that people with weak eyesight shouldn’t read fine print. You may experience some strain if you read in low light, and your eyes may feel tired after reading fine print, but this does not mean your eyes are being damaged. Your eyesight may change as you age, but your eyes will not wear out from too much use.
FALSE: Carrots contain vitamin A, which is important for eyesight, but carrots are not the only source of vitamin A. A normal, healthy diet should provide plenty of this vitamin, with or without carrots. Eating carrots is good for you, but it will not change your vision.
FALSE: It may be tempting to swim with your contact lenses in, but it isn’t worth the risk. Opening your eyes underwater while wearing soft contact lenses could result in a very dangerous infection.
FALSE: Wearing your contacts will make it easier to see, but contacts will not permanently fix your eyesight or stop nearsightedness from getting worse.
TRUE: Surprise! This myth is actually based in fact. Older people who’ve needed reading glasses for years sometimes find that they can set aside their glasses and read with no trouble. Unfortunately this isn’t a sign that their vision is improving. It is actually a sign that they are developing cataracts and becoming nearsighted. If you notice a change in your vision it is important to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. (Source: Eye Care America)
TRUE AND FALSE: The protection offered by your sunglasses depends on the type of lenses you have. While dark shades make it easier to see in bright light, those lenses will do nothingto protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. However, many regular glasses and sunglasses are made with UV protection in the lenses. Next time you choose a new pair of sunglasses, opt for the ones with UV protection. (Source: VSP Direct)
FALSE: Maybe your kid stopped liking bananas one day or started crying whenever you left the house after months with no incident—kids go through phases. However, having crossed or misaligned eyes is not one of those phases. Don’t expect your kid to simply grow out of this problem. Talk to your optometrist about treatment options—they may recommend surgery or use an eye patch or eye drops to fix the problem. Early treatment is best, so talk to your eye doctor today.
FALSE: Have your eyes ever been sore or tired after a long day at the office? Probably. Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can make your eyes feel tired, but don’t worry, you are not doing any permanent damage. When you read on phones, tablets, and computer screens, you usually blink less often, which means your eyes get dry and feel strained. This won’t cause any permanent problems, but if you want to reduce eyestrain, take breaks from looking at the screen.
FALSE: Have you ever seen your child watching TV and wondered how they could possibly see comfortably while sitting so close to the screen? While sitting so close may seem uncomfortable to adults, it isn’t causing any permanent damage you your child’s eyesight.
FALSE: Maybe you think your eyesight is fine, or you think you don’t need to worry about eye problems until you reach your 40s or 50s—this doesn’t mean you should avoid your eye doctor. It is important to visit your eye doctor regularly to monitor any prescription changes, but your checkup is about much more than your contacts prescription. Your eye doctor will also check for diseases like glaucoma, which can show up long before you reach old age. Your eye doctor may even notice signs of other health problems like diabetes or high cholesterol.
Don’t let eye care myths confuse you. Stay informed about your vision and talk to your optometrist about any questions you may have. Regular vision checkups are an important part of your overall health. To keep the cost of these eye care visits down, invest in individual vision insurance. Get an insurance plan quote and see how VSP makes it affordable to protect your vision.