It’s undisputed that eyesight is one of the most precious gifts we possess. So protecting your ability to see is as important as anything else in your life. However, as in the case of many health-related aspects, there are lots of myths associated with eye care. Let’s look some common myths and expert advice on about how to protect this precious organ.
- Eye exercises can delay the need for glasses: Your eyesight depends on shape of your eyeball and the health of the tissues in the area, and neither of these can be improved with exercise. Doing eye exercises can keep your eyes healthy but cannot improve vision or delay the need for glasses.
- No annual check up is necessary if you can see everything clearly: An annual check up can protect more than just your sight. Early detection of serious health conditions such as tumors, diabetes, hypertension, increased cholesterol, etc. is possible with an annual evaluation. The eye exam can also detect conditions that can affect vision such as glaucoma and macular degeneration (an eye disease that destroys the central part of the retina), which will allow early treatment.
- Vision is affected by reading in dim light: Rather than damage vision, this will tire your eyes more quickly. To prevent eye strain, position your reading light so that it falls directly onto the page.
- Eating carrots can improve eyesight: Experts confirm antioxidant-rich foods that contain certain minerals and vitamins A, E, and C contribute to eye health. These include carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, berries, seafood, flax seeds, soy foods, and so on. However, these foods cannot prevent or correct basic vision problems.
- Sitting close to the TV will harm your vision: Kids often do this, but there’s no evidence that sitting close to the TV can harm vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says that, unlike adults, children don’t experience any eyestrain when they sit close to the TV as they can actually focus up close better. But sitting close to the TV could be a sign of nearsightedness, warns the AAO.
- Staring at a computer screen all day will damage your eyes: This may not damage your sight but it can cause strain, muscle fatigue, dry eye syndrome and a medical condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These issues can be minimized by ensuring that the monitor is positioned correctly, using a glare screen, and blinking frequently. Taking a break and resting your eyes every 20 minutes is a good strategy.
- Not wearing your glasses or contact lenses all the time will allow your eyes to rest: If you need glasses or contact lenses, it is better to wear them. Not doing so will not worsen your vision, but it will strain your eyes.
Many eye sight problems are unavoidable with age such as macular degeneration. The chances of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma also increases with age. However, studies note that research shows that as much 50 percent of visual problems are due to treatable conditions such as refractive error and cataracts. The best way to protect your eyesight and your general health is by getting regular eye tests. Measures that promote overall health such as healthy eating, not smoking, or not being obese would also work to protect vision.