Classic Myths About Eyes
It’s time to debunk these classic myths about the eyes.
We’re sure your mother told you at least one of these when you were a kid!
MYTH 1: Reading in dim lighting will damage your eyes
FACTS: There is no scientific evidence that suggests reading in dim lighting will cause permanent damage to the eyes. Inadequate lighting can make the focusing system and eye muscles work harder, which may lead to fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision. A temporary increase in eye strain is the most common symptom of those who read with poor lighting. Fortunately for all the little bookworms out there, your eyes will not be damaged from reading in the dark.
MYTH 2: If you cross your eyes, they will get stuck that way
FACTS: Some people can cross their eyes on demand without even looking at an object coming towards their nose. This is actually a good thing! The ability to accurately and fully converge (turn inward or cross) the eyes is an important factor in reading. Converging the eyes when reading something up close helps minimize eyestrain and double vision because both eyes are following the words together. Don’t worry though – As long as your typical eye alignment is straight, the muscles around the eyes will return back to their normal position after you’re finished looking at your nose.
MYTH 3: You can lose a contact lens behind your eye
FACTS: It is anatomically impossible to get a contact lens behind the eye. The lens can get stuck under the upper eyelid, but it cannot go any farther than that. The sclera (“white part” of the eye) has a thin, clear membrane on top of it, called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva lines the sclera, then folds back at the inner crevasses of the upper and lower eyelids to also cover the inside of the eyelids. This creates a protective barrier that prohibits anything from traveling even close to the back of the eyeball.
MYTH 4: Eating carrots will improve your vision
FACTS: While carrots are a nutritious addition to any diet, they will not magically improve vision. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is a necessary precursor for our bodies to produce vitamin A. Our eyes need vitamin A to keep the retina and cornea functioning properly. The best way to keep your eyes healthy is to eat a balanced diet rich in omega-3, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Avoid smoking and maintain normal blood pressure and blood sugar, and wear sun protection to keep those eyes working well.
MYTH 5: Eye exams are only for people who wear glasses
FACTS: A vision screening is not a replacement for a comprehensive eye exam. Ocular health is not assessed during a vision screening. Having 20/20 vision means nothing if the eyes are unhealthy or at risk for future vision loss. The American Optometric Association recommends a child’s first eye exam before the first birthday, again at 3 years old, and annually once starting first grade in order to ensure normal eye development. People see the dentist every 6 months even when not having any problems, so why not treat your eyes with the same importance once a year. Teeth can be replaced…eyes cannot be replaced. If you or your children are due for a comprehensive eye exam, please call our office or schedule an appointment online.