6 Common Eye Health Myths Exposed!
23 January 2020
Did you ever believe that your eyes would turn square if you sat too close to the TV? Or that eating your crusts would give you curly hair? It’s pretty funny really when we look back at the childhood mythologies that we used to believe.
When it comes to eye health, there are countless myths that we all fall victim to. Here we finally put a stop to six of the most common eye myths and let you in on the truth behind them.
Myth 1: YOU CAN’T PREVENT SIGHT LOSS
Early detection of such conditions is vital; which is why attending regular eye tests is so important. It is recommended that individuals attend an eye test at least every two years. However, if any sudden changes in vision occur, get your eyes looked at straight away.
Myth 2: EYE TESTS ARE ONLY NEEDED IF YOU HAVE BLURRY VISION
This is a dangerous myth to believe. Having good vision is wonderful, but you absolutely still need to have your eyes tested every two years.
Going back to our previous point, some sight threatening conditions develop very gradually and may present no symptoms at all in the early stages. Patients who wait until they experience problems run the risk of causing irreversible damage to the eyes.
Not only this, but eye tests can also detect additional health problems, such as high cholesterol, diabetes and warning signs for brain tumours.
Myth 3: IT’S OK TO SWIM IN CONTACT LENSES
This is a major no-no. Swimming in any type of body of water when wearing contact lenses leaves your eyes exposed to contamination and infection.
Even chlorine isn’t powerful enough to kill infectious amoeba, such as acanthamoeba, that lurk in water. Contact lenses have been known to trap one of these critters against the eye, leading to serious infection.
Contact lenses also absorb water, which can dramatically alter their shape. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable but it will temporarily distort vision.
For swimming enthusiasts, we recommend you steer clear from contact lenses and opt for prescription goggles instead.
Myth 4: LOOKING AT A SCREEN FOR TOO LONG WILL DAMAGE YOUR EYES
This is technically not true, although people who stare at a screen for prolonged periods of time often experience eye fatigue. This can feel very uncomfortable, but does not cause permanent damage.
Computer vision syndrome, as it’s known, affects more than half of computer users. Symptoms include eye strain, dry eyes, eye irritation, blurred vision and double vision.
If you can’t reduce your screen time, we highly recommend adopting the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds- it’s simple and effective.
Reducing the lighting around you can also help with reducing digital eye strain. Most people don’t realise this, but the typical office environment is generally 50% brighter than it should be. Try dimming the light slightly or changing the brightness on the screen to minimise the contrast.
Myth 5: WEARING GLASSES WILL WEAKEN YOUR EYES
Prescription glasses are custom made to counteract your prescription- essentially levelling it out to 0. They will not alter your eyes or change your prescription.
Prescriptions can change over time but this is a natural process and nothing to do with the fact that you wear glasses or contact lenses.
Additionally, wearing the wrong prescription glasses won’t cause any harm- they just won’t make you see clearly.
Myth 6: A CATARACT CAN GROW BACK AFTER LENS REPLACEMENT
Lens replacement is the only treatment available to remove a cataract. During the procedure the natural lens on the eye is removed, using ultrasound, and replaced with a permanent artificial lens implant.
A cataract is a condition in which the lens becomes cloudy. Therefore, because the natural lens has been completely removed, it is impossible for the cataract to return.
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