Your Eyes: Fact vs. Fiction

by W. Kevin Wright O.D. on 02/13/2012 in Healthy Vision
Your Eyes: Fact vs. Fiction

When it comes to your eyes, today I separate the truth from the lies. It’s often said that seeing is believing, but regarding sight itself, spotting the fact from the fiction can be a little more difficult. From the seemingly simple to the wackier wives’ tales, read the following true or false statements that debunk or confirm eye health myths and facts. After the facts are unveiled, you can expect to have a higher Eye-Q.

The Claim: Sitting too close to the TV can harm your eyes.
False. There is no evidence that sitting too close to the TV does anything harmful to your vision. Children have the ability to focus on objects at a close distance without strain better than adults, so they don’t feel uncomfortable sitting right in front of the TV. However, sitting too close could also indicate nearsightedness or astigmatism, and as a precaution you should take your child in for regular eye exams.

The Claim: Computer screens are a higher threat to your eyes than TV screens.
True. While a computer screen itself won’t harm your eyes, while using your computer for a long period of time your eyes can become dry, strained and irritated.  These symptoms may occur for a couple of reasons.  The closeness of the screen requires focusing which leads to eyestrain and headaches.  When you concentrate, your brain slows your blink reflex and may cause your eyes to become dry and irritated. Employ the 20-20-20 rule: look 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

The Claim: Reading in dim light is bad for your eyes.
False. Reading in dim light is more difficult and can lead to eye fatigue, but it won’t cause any permanent damage to your eyesight.

The Claim: Eating carrots is good for eyesight.
True. Carrots contain vitamin-A (beta carotene)  which is known to lower the risk of eye disease. Carrots are healthy for the eyes.

The Claim: Eating carrots can help you see in the dark.
True. IF you have a vitamin A deficiency. We know that carrots are good for overall eye health, but how do they help you see in the dark? Don’t expect night-vision goggle results, but Vitamin A is essential for the formation of the chemical retinol, whose presence in the retina is necessary for vision.  Our eyes have two kinds of light sensitive cells: the rods and the cones.  The rods are the cells we rely on to see in dim light. If they lack retinol, then vision in the dark can be more difficult. Carrots are high in Vitamin A and when you eat them, the retinol can resolve deficiencies and help you to see better in the dark.

The Claim: Rubbing a gold ring on your eye gets rid of a stye.
False. Styes are painful lumps that form along the roots of the eyelashes due to clogging of the glands in the lid from oil, debris, and bacteria. While some gold salts are believed to have anti-inflammatory abilities, solid gold as found in a ring doesn’t have an effect on the body’s chemicals. The coolness of the metal may feel soothing, also contributing to this misconception. The best thing to do is to keep your eyelid and lashes clean and make-up free. If the stye persists, visit your doctor.

The Claim: If you cross your eyes, they’ll get stuck that way.
False. Your eyes won’t get stuck from crossing them on your own. However, if you notice your child with an eye crossing constantly or occasionally, you should bring them to your eye doctor for an eye exam.

The Claim: Eyesight is strictly hereditary and beyond your control.
False. Environmental factors like reading and computer screens can create stress harmful to your eyesight even if you didn’t inherit eye problems.  Good nutrition also plays a very important role in keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

Source:  W. Kevin Wright O.D.