eyes-260571_640.jpgWhen considering and addressing health issues and needs, it’s always important to ensure that you are not following the advice of an incorrect wives’ tale. Many pieces of eye health advice, for example, seem to have roots in an old myth about vision care. At best, these incorrect pieces of “wisdom” are harmless; at their worst, however, following them can leave you lacking in important eye healthcare. Because of this, we encourage you to keep reading to explore five common eye myths that are worth forgetting about, starting today:

Myth #1: Carrots are the best thing you can eat to keep your eyes healthy.

The Reality: This myth stems from the fact that carrots are high in vitamin A, a nutrient that’s essential for healthy vision. But while eating a vegetable like carrots has plenty of health benefits, just eating this vegetable alone won’t give you all of the vitamin A (and other nutrients) you need for healthy vision. To ensure that your diet supports good eye health, you should aim to eat a well-balanced diet overall that’s full of vision friendly foods, including fruits, vegetables and leafy greens, dairy, and protein.

Myth #2: Spending hours in front of a TV or computer will damage your vision.

The Reality: Using a computer or watching TV won’t cause any serious eye damage. However, staring at any screen for an extended period of time can contribute to eye-strain or fatigue; some people also find that their eyes grow dry and irritated when they forget to regularly blink while looking at screens. To minimize these types of symptoms, you should take regular breaks when you use your computer or your TV. And always check that your tech’s monitors and screens are at least 18 inches away from your face!

Myth #3: Reading or enjoying other activities in dim light will damage your vision.

The Reality: This one is 100% untrue - reading in dim light will not directly damage your eyes. It will admittedly become more difficult to do this as you age, since your eyes and retinas will naturally change over time. You may also develop eye strain or fatigue if you push your eyes to work too hard for too long. But fortunately, the simple act of reading won’t create any problems on its own.

Myth #4: There is no way to prevent vision changes and vision loss.

The Reality: While some vision changes happen naturally due to age or genetics, there are things we can do to protect our eyes from certain types of vision issues. For example, by eating a healthy diet and exercising, we can control our blood pressure and prevent diabetes - thereby protecting our eyes from the vision damage associated with these sorts of health issues. Additionally, immediately reporting any changes in our vision or problems with our eyes can help eye doctors diagnose problems sooner; depending on the cause of these changes, an early diagnosis may provide you with the extra time needed to correct, stop, or at least slow down any potential vision loss with specialized treatments.

Myth #5: I can see just fine, so I don’t need to visit an eye doctor this year.

The Reality: Eye exams aren’t just about evaluating how well you can see - they also provide doctors with an opportunity to scan the interior and back of your eye for signs of developing issues. Many eye problems don’t present with serious symptoms until they’re more advanced; some don’t present with symptoms at all. And since there are no nerves to pick up on pain within our eyes, it’s easy to be completely unaware that something is going wrong within them. Fortunately, annual eye exams give your eye doctor a chance to look for nerve damage, small tears, and other problems that are best addressed sooner rather than later.

Myths like these highlight how incorrect advice, though mostly harmless, can sometimes go completely against what is recommended by medical professionals. Because of this, it’s always important to trust your doctor’s advice over anyone else’s. The next time you have a question about your vision, instead of trusting an old piece of advice you may have heard, please make sure that we are the first people you contact. We’ll make sure that you are given the proper advice and care that you need to keep seeing clearly for months and years to come!