Fact or fiction about your eyes: We debunk some common vision-related misconceptions
Ever hear the one about how, if you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way? Or what about all those times your mom told you to eat your carrots because they are good for your eyes? These are just two of the very common myths about your eyesight you might’ve heard before. In this blog post, we’ll debunk those and more, giving you all the facts about vision.
Wearing glasses will cause vision to weaken over time
It is widely believed that wearing corrective eyewear will cause your vision to deteriorate. Guess what? This popular belief is a myth. Suddenly needing glasses, and then wearing them regularly, will not cause your vision to weaken over time, but that doesn’t mean your vision won’t worsen regardless. It’s normal for your eyesight to deteriorate with age. This is an eye condition known as presbyopia, which usually starts to appear once a person reaches their 40s.
Crossing your eyes will make them stay that way
Simply put, this myth is not true! Eye movement is controlled my muscles that surround the eyes. The gesture of crossing your eyes is controlled by a series of muscles—so when you are crossing your eyes, you’re doing it by moving the muscles in your eye inward. It’s the same thing as flexing any other muscle on your body.
Sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes
Chances are, your parents told you not to sit too close to the television when you were younger. If your youth was spent just inches away from the TV screen, then you might be wondering what effect doing so on your vision. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), there is no evidence to suggest that sitting up close to the TV causes your vision to worsen. Other factors, such as existing hereditary concerns or physical trauma to the eyes, are more likely culprits. However, if you find that you need to sit close to the screen in order to see it clearly, it could signal that an eye condition like myopia (nearsightedness) is present. In fact, a recent study published in Ophthalmology, found that, given the rise in screen usage in children and adults (such as cellphone use) there has been a sizeable increase in incidences of myopia. LASIK MD co-founder and co-medical director, Dr. Avi Wallerstein, discussed the findings here.
Good or bad, eyesight is a genetic condition
Should you call up your parents and thank them for your great vision? If, indeed, you have clear vision then yes. Similarly, if you’ve got an eye condition, it may be hereditary in nature. The truth is that some eye conditions are the result of your genes. For example, an eye condition such as astigmatism has been found to have a hereditary component. But, the same can’t be said for all eye conditions: other eye diseases such as cataracts can be entirely out of one’s control, and are often the result of aging, injury, diabetes, or even a past surgery.
You’ve heard LASIK is a new surgery with a questionable record of safety
The thought of using a laser to see clearly might irk some people. However, advancements in technology have helped this surgery transform into a vision correction option that is safe. It’s been available for use on the market for more than 25 years, and some of the world’s most experienced ophthalmologists and laser eye surgeons perform the procedure.
Carrots can improve your eyesight
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but does eating plenty of carrots keep the ophthalmologist at bay? That remains to be seen. Carrots contain hefty amounts of vitamin A—an ingredient essential for good eyesight as it helps the eye transform light into a signal that’s more easily transmitted to the brain. Plus, our corneas need vitamin A to best function as a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to blindness. So, the short answer is yes, carrots do help out your eyesight.
But for some reason, they are the vegetables that take all the credit. But they aren’t the only foods or veggies you can eat to increase your vitamin A intake. Other foods like leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and dried fruits also contain vitamin A in great supply too. Plant-based, whole foods are musts in any diet—your eyes will thank you, too.
Artificial sweeteners can make your eyes more sensitive to light
Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, can cause a condition called photophobia (sensitivity to light) which is like what it feels like when you first open the blinds in the morning or step out into the sun after emerging from a dimly-lit setting. Light sensitivity can be uncomfortable and even cause headaches. If you are someone who enjoys adding artificial sweetener to their coffee or tea and notice a that your brighter lighting hurts your eyes, you may want to switch to normal sugar. For your eye’s sake.
Doing eye exercises will keep your eyes “in shape”
There are some rumours circulating online that just like other parts of your body, your eyes benefit from exercise, too. There are some claims that even (boldly) state that eye exercises can be instrumental in eradicating existing eye conditions as well as preventing future ones—like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism—from forming. This one is a myth: although resting your eyes can be soothing, and rotating them does feel like stretching, and giving your eyes a rest certainly comes with its share of benefits there is no science to claim that these “exercises” can reverse an eye condition.
The colour of your eyes affects the way you see
People with lighter eyes (light green or blue eyes) are often more sensitive to bright lights when compared to those who have darker eye colours. This is due to the fact that irises are less pigmented, so more sunlight gets into the eyes. However, this does not mean that people with darker eyes overall have better vision.
It can take about a month to heal from a LASIK surgery
There seems to be some misconceptions about how quickly it takes the average person to recover from a vision correction procedure. Your individual healing period will ultimately depend on the type of procedure you underwent. Typically, most people can expect to return to their usual routines in the days following their procedure.
Reading in the dark is bad for your eyes
It’s an image that conjures nostalgic memories: hiding out under the bedsheets, holding up a flashlight to see the pages clearly while reading an impossible-to-put-down book. You might’ve heard that reading in the dark is bad for your eyes, with little conclusive evidence to support it. Wondering if it’s really that terrible to read in the dark? Turns out, it isn’t! In fact, many ophthalmologists agree that although this may cause you to strain your eyes, it is not going to cause long-term vision problems.
We hope that this blog post helped clear some things up for you. Curious to learn more about how a laser vision correction procedure can get you to see the world clearly? Book a free, no-obligation consultation today and we’ll help remove any of the mystery around LASIK surgery for you.