Myths About Vision

July 29, 2010

Misconceptions about our eyes and vision are often passed from one generation to another. Here’s the real scoop on some popular myths about vision from the on-line Healthtouch Library provided by the American Optometric Association.

  • Reading in dim light will hurt your eyes. Reading or doing other close work in dim light won’t harm your eyes but it does put more stress on them. You may experience headaches or tired, itching, burning or red eyes from using too little light.
  • Sitting close to the television screen will harm your eyes. Sitting two or three feet from the television screen won’t hurt your eyes but it can put stress on them. A good viewing distance is about five times the width of the screen. Always sitting close to the television screen can be a sign of nearsightedness.
  • You only need an eye exam when you notice problems with your eyes or vision. There are three good reasons everyone needs a thorough eye examination every year or two: 1.To diagnose eye health problems, most of which have no early noticeable symptoms; 2.To diagnose subtle and gradual changes in vision that many people don’t notice; and 3.To help in preventing the development of stress-related vision problems.
  • Everyone who has cataracts needs eye surgery. There is no need to rush into cataract surgery. Most cataracts are associated with aging and begin as tiny areas of cloudiness. The majority of them remain small and, with periodic prescriptions lens changes, most people can maintain good vision in spite of them. If a cataract reaches a stage where it interferes with a person’s ability to do the things he or she wants to do, then surgery is recommended.

Copyright 1994-1996, American Optometric Association, Licensed to Medical Strategies, Inc. (MSI).

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