When it comes to our eyes, keeping them in tip-top health should be front of mind. But how do we sort fact from fiction?
There are so many ideas about what is good and bad for your peepers. Thankfully OPSM’s Director of Optometry and Community, Peter Murphy, debunks five of the most common eye myths - so you can make sure that you’re taking proper care of your eyes.
Reading in low light will harm your vision
While it is widely believed that reading in dim lighting will damage your eyes, Peter reveals it’s simply not true.
“Reading in dim light forces your eyes to do extra work and tires them out faster than in good light,” he tells. “It is difficult and uncomfortable, and can most definitely cause fatigue and eyestrain, but may not do too much harm to your eyes.”
Eating carrots will boost your eyesight
Often told to you as a child in a bid to get you to eat your veggies, Peter reveals that eating carrots doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have perfect vision.
“Yes, eating carrots can contribute to eye health, but they are only one of many natural sources of Vitamin A, which is essential for keeping your eyes healthy,” he explains. “Eating the right foods play a huge part in keeping your eyes healthy, but it’s definitely not proven that carrots give you better eyesight.”
Staring at a screen all day makes your eyes worse
Although staring at a computer screen all day may be uncomfortable, Pete says that it’s not going to cause any long-term damage to your vision. What does happen, though, is short-term discomfort.
“When you’ve been staring at a screen for a long time, your eyes dry out because you blink less,” he explains. “It can also cause your eyes to get tired, which can result from the reflective nature of the monitor.” Peter suggests using eye drops and monitor adjustments to alleviate these troubles.
I only need to visit the optometrist if there’s something wrong
Even if you’ve always had 20/20 vision, Peter says that as you age you should visit an optometrist every two years – even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong.
“If you have a family history of poor health, diabetes or eye problems, then you may need to check in with your optometrist more often,” Peter advises. “There are also a few nasty diseases that you may be developing and you don’t even know it. Glaucoma and macular degeneration are two of the leading causes of blindness that develop slowly, and usually without any noticeable symptoms.” Regular eye tests can ensure any abnormalities are caught in their early stages.
UV rays won’t hurt my eyes
Peter says that UV rays are in fact very damaging to eyes. “It can increase your chances of developing macular degeneration and cataracts,” he says.
Think of your sunglasses as sunscreen for your eyes and never leave home without them.