Busting 8 Eye Myths That Your Mom Told You
Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you that your eyes are gonna go square if you watch too much TV? Spoiler alert for those that are still skeptical - they won't. The myths and misconceptions about eyes and eyesight are never-ending, so we’re here to help myth-bust some of them!
Reading in dark or dim light can damage your eyes
Busted: It’s certainly more tricky to see in dark or dim light than in brighter light, which could make you feel tired or give you a headache, but this can’t cause any mechanical damage to your eyes.
Contact lenses can get lost behind our eyes
Busted: The membrane that covers the white of your eye (the conjunctiva) also lines the inside of our eyelids, so it’s impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind our eyes.
Wearing someone else’s glasses can damage our eyes
Busted: Although you may not be able to see very well with someone else’s glasses, and may even get a headache or double vision, this can’t cause any mechanical damage to our eyes. However, you should ensure you only ever wear glasses that are your own prescription when you drive.
Watching TV too much or too closely will damage your eyes
Busted: Our bodies (including our eyes) were not designed to spend extended periods of time sitting down. Watching too much TV or sitting very close to it can make your eyes tired and dry, and even lead to a headache – particularly if you are watching TV without glasses if you need them, but this won’t cause any mechanical damage to our eyes.
Exercising the eye muscles can allow you to ‘fix’ your eyes
Busted: We need glasses because of the irregular shape and size of our eyes. Exercises can’t change the shape and length of our eyes.
Studying our iridies (the coloured part of our eyes), can reveal general health problems
Busted: There is no scientific proof of the iris structure revealing general health problems. However, when optometrists carry out eye examinations, they check the health of our eyes, and will assess the back of the eyes for signs of some general health conditions; like chronic hypertension and diabetes.
Using your eyes too much wears them out
Busted: Using our eyes does not affect the health of them. Don't worry, they ain't gonna fall out, just be weary of what you put them through.
Holding books too close will damage your child’s eyes
Busted: How your child holds a book has no effect on the health of their eyes and doesn’t always mean they will need glasses. Often children will hold books close to them to read as their powerful focusing ability at young ages makes it easy for them to do so. However, if your child consistently sits too close to the television, it can indicate that they are having difficulty seeing further away. In this case, book them in to see an optometrist. In the UK, the NHS provide all children with an annual free sight test.
Eating carrots can help you see in the dark
Kinda busted: Carrots are a good source of vitamin A, which is important for the eyesight in general as it helps the signal conveyed from the eyes to the brain but by no means are you going to be able to see in complete darkness. Poor nutrition has been implicated in diseases such as type 2 diabetes and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affect our vision and can cause night blindness.