Common Eye Myths

  1. “Don’t sit too close to the TV”: Sitting close to the TV won’t hurt your eyes nor make them worse, but some experts suggest that all those hours of electromagnetic radiation might cause damage to our brains. There has been a correlation between reading close up long hours and myopic progression in certain genetically pre-disposed patients, but for the most part, it’s not harmful to the eyes. However, sitting too close to the TV may indicate that you can’t see well at a far distance. So an eye exam may be in order.
  2. “Glasses will make your eyes worse”: Wearing glasses doesn’t make your eyes worse. They just correct the focus. You do, however, get accustomed to seeing well through glasses so it seems like you don’t see as well when you take them off than before you put them on. But that is just a very temporary perception and not reality. It is also possible that myopic correcting glasses while reading for long hours can stimulate increased myopia in certain genetically pre-disposed children.
  3. “Not wearing glasses will make your eyes worse”: This is only partially true for very far-sighted children, especially those who have one eye much worse than the other. The brain needs a good image to stimulate development of vision. But not wearing glasses otherwise does not make the eyes worse.
  4. “Don’t read in the dark”: This is a myth. It might make it harder to see but it’s not going to hurt your eyes.
  5. “Eat your carrots”: Carrots won’t help your eyes any better than any other vegetable. There is photopigment in carrots but it’s also in most other vegetables.
  6. “Don’t rub your eyes”: It’s actually good to rub the eyes to get the glands flowing in the eyelids. This helps decrease dryness of the eyes. There is some suggestions that certain genetically pre-disposed children with allergies who rub there eyes a lot can develop keratoconus, but it’s a controversial subject.
  7. “If you cross your eyes they’ll get stuck that way”: This is false. Cross away!
  8. “I don’t need my eyes checked because I see fine”: Many diseases like glaucoma don’t affect vision until the end stage, when it’s too late to fix the problem. Every day there are people who go blind suddenly from retinal detachments that could have been prevented if asymptomatic retinal breaks had been caught in a routine eye exam.
  9. “I don’t need eye exams after LASIK surgery”: LASIK doesn’t decrease the risk of eye disease. It merely corrects the vision.
  10. “I only need to remove my contact lenses or replace them when they bother me”: By the time contact lenses bother you, they’ve already caused damage to the eyes. It’s like waiting to put chemicals in the pool until the pool is green, or waiting to change your oil until the engine is smoking. Wearing contact lenses more than 12 hours per day deprives the cornea of oxygen. Replacing contact lenses beyond the recommended replacement period causes inflammation in the eye from protein buildup on the lenses. In addition, lens coatings that protect the eye wear off over time.
  11. “I don’t need glasses because I wear contact lenses”: Contact lens wearers who come in with problems are almost always those who wear their contact lenses more than 12 hours per day every day. If you don’t have good eye glasses, you are more likely to over wear your contact lenses. If you can’t afford both eye glasses and contact lenses, it is recommended you wear only glasses.

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