There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Not long ago, we covered 5 of the most common eye myths floating around in the rumor-sphere. But those weren’t the end of the misconceptions. Here are 5 more prevalent eye myths and their factual counterparts.
1. An eye exercise regimen can replace your glasses
This is rarely, if ever true. While there are some eye conditions like strabismus or amblyopia that often require physical therapy to help fix, the vast majority of poor vision cannot be naturally cured. Subpar vision is typically the result of improperly shaped corneas or eyeballs, and these are not conditions that can be changed by eye exercises. Corrective laser surgeries are needed to permanently fix these problems.
You may see advertisements for exercise routines or special therapies boasting that they can help you “throw away your glasses”. These are a waste of time and money. Only therapies or devices prescribed by your eye doctor should be used to aid vision.
2. You can lose contact lenses behind your eyes
This is 100 percent myth thanks to something called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the membrane that covers the whites of your eyes and lines your eyelids. This creates a barrier that prevents anything, including contact lenses, from truly “rolling back behind your eye”.
Contact lenses can, however, get stuck to your eyes if you wear them for too long and your eyes become dry. If this happens, simply apply some rewetting drops and try again once your eyes are rehydrated. Don’t keep trying to remove the lens from a dry eye or you may scratch the surface of your eye.
3. Reading in dim light worsens your vision
This is one we’ve all heard before. Reading, or any other up-close activity, needs to be done in good lighting or your vision may permanently suffer. The good news is that this is completely false. There is no evidence to even suggest that permanent eye damage befalls those of us who like to read by candlelight.
There can still be consequences to reading in low light, but they are mild and non-permanent. In inadequate lighting, your eyes have to work harder to see. This extra effort can result in eyestrain. Strain your eyes for too long and you may have a headache on your hands. The good news is that your eyes will recover, and eyestrain can be avoided by taking a few short breaks and allowing your eyes to rest.
Electronic devices, like phones and e-readers, can also cause eyestrain in poor lighting. We blink less when we stare at screens, so be sure to look up from the screen every now and then. A pair of blue-light-blocking glasses can also prevent eye strain and the negative effects of blue light, such as disrupted sleep cycles.
4. If a child holds their book close while reading, they need glasses
While this can sometimes be true, it is unlikely. Farsightedness is much more common in older adults than it is in children. When children hold their books up close, it is typically to help with focus. Some children focus better on words that are closer than what might seem comfortable to most adults.
Holding books close on its own is not a signal of poor vision or eye problems, but sitting close to the television can be a sign of myopia. Children should have annual eye exams to make sure their eyes are healthy and to ensure they have the right prescription glasses (if they need them).
5. Children will “grow out” of conditions like lazy eye
Eye abnormalities should never go unaddressed, especially in children. Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition marked by one eye “drifting” and not focusing correctly. Amblyopia is commonly treated with special glasses, eye patches or therapy and can usually be fixed. If left untreated, the brain may begin ignoring signals sent from the lazy eye, which will eventually permanently damage the vision in that eye. If amblyopia is not immediately addressed, then completely correcting it becomes impossible.
Strabismus (also known as crossed or wall eyes) is another condition that requires prompt treatment. Children will not “grow out” of any vision abnormalities, and the longer treatment is postponed, the less effective it will be.
6. Bonus myth: you have to buy glasses from your eye doctor
Because eyeglasses are medical devices requiring a prescription, many people believe that their optometrist’s office is the only place able to sell high-quality lenses. Nothing could be further from the truth!
With an updated prescription, you’re free to shop online for the best deals on contact lenses and prescription glasses. Shop at 39DollarGlasses.com for the latest styles on contact lenses, eyeglasses, and prescription sunglasses.