“If You Cross Your Eyes; They’ll Stay that Way” – The Truth Behind Eye and Vision Myths

You may have distinct memories of a parent telling you all the ways you can “ruin your eyes”. Throughout the years, many myths have been repeated about eyes and vision. Let’s uncover the truth behind the myths.

Myth 1. If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way.

Your eye muscles allow you to move your eyes in all directions.  Crossed eyes typically result from disease, uncorrected vision, or from muscle or nerve damage, not from forcing them to cross.

Myth 2. Eating carrots will improve your vision.

Carrots contain Vitamin A, an important nutrient for healthy eyesight. However our bodies only need a relatively small amount of vitamin A for vision. Other food sources that are great sources of Vitamin A include:  dark, leafy greens, brightly colored vegetables, dairy and fish. While eating foods rich in vitamin A can help you maintain good eyesight, it won’t improve your vision or keep you from needing glasses or contacts.

Myth 3. It’s okay to swim while wearing contact lenses.

Potentially blinding eye infections can result from swimming or using a hot tub while wearing contact lenses. The lenses can absorb the water, trapping potential bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens against your eye.

Myth 4. Sitting very close to the TV can damage your eyes.

While sitting very close to the television may cause eyestrain or give you a headache, it will not damage vision in children or adults. However, habitually sitting close to the television may signal that the person is nearsighted and may need glasses.

Myth 5. Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.

It does not harm your eyes to read in dim light. But good lighting makes it easier to see what you are reading and reduces eye fatigue.

Myth 6. Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses will make you dependent on them.

Using your glasses won’t worsen your vision. Farsightedness (hyperopia) or Nearsightedness (myopia) typically gets worse over time, especially during childhood and adolescence. Additionally, most people begin to experience vision deterioration as they enter their 40’s and 50’s with or without the use of vision correction devices.

Myth 7. Squinting is bad for your eyes.

Squinting is your eyes’ natural reaction to let less light into the pupil in order to sharpen your focus. Squinting  can be a sign that someone can’t see clearly which often suggests that their vision is impaired and that they need glasses to see better in the first place.

Myth 8. My glasses will protect my eyes from injury.

You may think that, because your normal glasses are durable and cover your eyes, your eyes are safe. That’s not true! While it might protect you from a finger poke, their size or durability, do not offer the same level of protection as safety glasses. Safety glasses can be and should be worn at all times in risky environments whether that’s at work, at home, or at play.

Myth 9. An Eye Exam is Only Necessary If You’re Having Problems.

Regular eye exams are as important as regular physical and dental exams. Everyone should follow a proper eye health program that includes regular eye exams, whether or not they’re having any noticeable signs of problems.  Call us to schedule your annual eye exam.


Sources: Visionsource.com, aao.org, preventblindness.org



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