As kids, we might have been subjected to scare-tactic stories about the potential to go blind from “sitting too close to the TV,” or something else that seemed innocent to us. Beyond that TV story, there are other vision care myths that you should know about to help protect your vision — no matter your age. Now’s the time to debunk! Here are our top five eye-health myths, from the simple to the serious.
Eye Health Myth 1: “Reading in Dim Light Is Bad For Your Eyes”
This one is false all around, from under-the-covers reading to squinting at a menu in a darkened restaurant. The only risk here is your eyes getting tired or strained. To fix the problem with some preventative eye care, illuminate exactly what you’re reading. For books, choose a light that shines directly on the pages, rather than a lamp behind your shoulder. (Pro tip: limit glowing screens in the few hours before bedtime.
Eye Health Myth 2: “Eye Exercises Will Help Me See Better”
Sorry, but also not true. This one is hard to accept as a myth, because it feels easy to just take a few simple actions to check the boxes on vision care. asserts that targeted eye exercises will not improve your eyesight1. (Exercises could be useful for convergence insufficiency, where the eyes are not working together to focus, but that’s a condition your doctor will diagnose.)
Eye Health Myth 3: “Wearing My Glasses or Contacts Will Make My Vision Worse”
Definitely a myth. So is the idea that you should take a break from your glasses or contacts to let your eyes “rest.” In a way, the reverse is true: always wearing your corrective lenses is easier on your eyes, preventing headaches and eye strain. You get used to a life of seeing clearly — and that’s not a bad thing.
Eye Health Myth 4: “Smoking Has Nothing To Do With My Eyesight”
If you are a smoker, pay attention to this myth. Cigarette smoking increases your risk for problems with your eye health that can lead to loss of vision or blindness. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, smokers are nearly four times as likely to develop macular degeneration2, which is difficult to spot in its early stages. The solution? Quit smoking AND get an annual eye exam.
Eye Health Myth 5: “I Don’t Need Eye Exams: I See Just Fine!”
This myth is one of the most dangerous. It’s important that you know the risks of skipping eye exams. If you see clearly, it seems easy to delay or avoid visiting the eye doctor. But regular eye exams can detect serious conditions that affect your vision and even your overall health. Besides checking for macular degeneration, cataracts or glaucoma, an eye exam can see the early signs of diabetes and even high blood pressure. That’s really cool!
Not a Myth: Your Eye Health Future Is Bright
Your eye health matters. Start with regular vision exams that can monitor the changes in your eyesight as well as detect more serious issues like cataracts and glaucoma.
Still need vision insurance? VSP has options for nearly everyone. Enroll online today. You can start by finding the right vision insurance plan for you. It’s time to protect your eyes for a healthy future.
Information received through VSP Vision Care's social media channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
 AAO. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Vision Training Not Proven to Make Vision Sharper. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/vision-training-not-proven-to-make-vision-sharper (Retrieved March 22, 2021)
 American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Don’t Smoke. It Exacerbates Eye Disease. https://www.macular.org/dont-smoke (retrieved March 22, 2021)