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7 Myths about Your Sight (and a Powerful Truth about Vision)

7 Myths about Your Sight (and a Powerful Truth about Vision) 1024 326 BodyWHealth

Our sight is a delicate sense that we cherish. We worry about losing it. Consequently, myths abound. Here are a few big ones.

Myth: Carrots will improve your sight

Fact: NO, even if you eat a ton of them, they won’t correct or prevent underlying refractive issues (the focus issues that cause most problems). Carrots contain beta-carotene, an orange pigment that is a building block for Vitamin A, which is important for healthy functioning of the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of your eye that helps us see). So, carrots are good for your eyes. But there are other foods that are probably more important such as fresh fruit and dark green leafy vegetables which contain anti-oxidants. These natural chemicals protect against age-related degeneration of the eye, such as cataracts.

Myth: Eye exercises will delay or prevent your need for glasses

Fact: NO. Exercises may have limited value in smaller children under specific conditions. For the rest of us, eye exercises will not improve or preserve our sight. The health of our eye tissues and the shape of our eyeball are the most important factors that determines our sight – neither are affected by eye exercises.

Myth: Reading in the dark will damage your eyes

Fact: NO, but you may get a headache, and you will tire your eyes out more quickly.

Myth: Using your glasses or lenses makes your eyes lazy and your sight will deteriorate

Fact: NO, corrective lenses do not change the underlying function of your eye. Our sight tends to deteriorate with age due to changes in the shape and flexibility of the lens in our eye. Our diet is the best way to influence this, but it remains an inevitable consequence over time for most of us.

Myth: Not wearing your glasses or lenses accelerates deterioration

Fact: NO, for the same reasons, not wearing your corrective lenses does not influence the underlying biology of your eyes. The only consequences are that you won’t see as well, and you may get a headache from squinting.

Myth: Looking into your computer screen all day is bad for your sight

Fact: NO, there is no data that shows lasting deterioration is sight from extensive use of computer screens. Prolonged reading can cause eye fatigue. There is no evidence that the hardly-detectable radiation from computer screens harms your eyes. Prolonged staring at the screen can cause eye discomfort, predominantly because we tend not to blink as often when we stare, and blinking is essential for corneal health. The most valuable advice for workers that have to use their computers for extended periods is to blink often, and to get up and walk around regularly (but there are far more important reasons for the latter – because sitting for long periods is a major health risk!!!).

Myth: Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun

Fact: NO, it’s not safe to assume that wearing your most fashionable sunglasses protect your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays. First, only good sunglasses have adequate UV light protection – the millions of cheap knock-off brands save money by leaving the protective layer off! Also, don’t think that wearing sunglasses allows you to look at the sun directly – that is a dangerous myth! Sunlight is healthy, in moderation, but always protect your skin and eyes against the dangerous effects of UV light.

Myth: Your sight is your most important sense

Fact: No. Just, for fun, my own perspective, relayed in the powerful words of a woman who triumphed in life despite losing her vision (and hearing) before her second birthday …

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller

Have fun,


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