Eye Myths: 5 Popular Fictions About the Eyes

Posted on 2014/02/12 at 9:58 am by LASIK MD

Eye myths about human vision are, for some reason, very common. The five following fictions are among the most popular eye myths:

1. Reading in poor light will eventually harm your vision.

This myth is sort of like saying that if you take a picture in poor light, then the camera will be damaged. While having more outside light will certainly help you see better, trying to read in the dark will not damage the important, interior components of the eye, such as your retina. There is currently no evidence that shows reading in poor light damages your eyes. However, reading in diminished light puts more strain on the eyes, which tires them more quickly, potentially resulting in red eyes and headaches.

2. Sitting too close to a TV or staring at a computer screen for too long will hurt your eyes.

Similar to the first of the eye myths, contrary to popular belief (or at least your mother’s and father’s), sitting too close to a TV screen or staring at a computer screen for a prolonged period will do no more than temporarily strain the eyes. The origin of this myth may date back to the 1960s when some of the first TV sets to be manufactured actually emitted mild X-rays.

3. Eating a lot of carrots helps your vision.

While not completely an unfounded myth—as diet is important to sound vision—eating a whole patch of carrots will not give you sharpened vision. In fact, eating too many carrots may cause your skin to take on a yellow or yellow-orange tinge due to an overdose of blood carotene levels. Keep in mind, however, that vitamin A deficiency may lead to poor vision. If an individual does not get enough vitamin A , the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors begin to deteriorate.

4. Squinting too much damages your vision.

While squinting frequently may indeed be a sign that you need glasses, it is not a cause in and of itself for needing vision correction. Not to mention the fact that squinting may exacerbate some of the fine lines and wrinkles that appear around your eyes as you age.

5. Crossing your eyes too many times will get them stuck that way.

Saving perhaps the most self-evident of the eye myths for last, crossing your eyes too many times will not, in fact, get them stuck that way. The same goes for slapping your friend on the back while she pulls down her eyelids. It’s anyone’s guess where exactly these myths came from, but perhaps they’re due to parents making them up to prevent their children from engaging in unruly behavior.

Of course, one fact that’s not included among these five eye myths is that LASIK is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to do away with one’s worries about eyesight loss. Even your own mother or father may be able to attest to the veracity of this statement.

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