When it comes to our eyes we have all heard a number of myths. When we were children our parents would say eat your carrots and you will be able to see in the dark. However, the older we get the more important it is to look after our eyes. So what are the myths and what are the facts?
Myth 1: Eating carrots will improve your vision & make you see in the dark.
Fact: Vitamin A is abundant in carrots, making them an important part of a balanced diet. However, eating a lot of carrots will not improve your vision.
Myth 2: Having an eye test is not necessary unless you are having problems with your vision.
Fact: This could not be further from the truth. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, and hypertension are just a few of the silent enemies of the eyes that only a routine eye examination can detect. For adults under the age of 65, an eye check-up is recommended every two years, and for those above 65, it is recommended once a year. If someone in your family had either glaucoma or macular degeneration, these can be hereditary making it really important that you get an annual eye exam.
Myth 3: By wearing glasses all time our eyes become weaker.
Fact: Our vision is not harmed by wearing glasses. Some eye disorders (such as near-sightedness) will deteriorate with time, but this has nothing to do with the use of glasses.
Myth 4: Not everyone will develop cataracts.
Fact: The clouding of the natural human lens is known as a cataract. The need for reading glasses in our 40s is, believe it or not, the earliest indicator of eye aging. As we are all living longer it is likely that most of us will eventually develop cataracts.
Myth 5: Only boys can be colour blind.
Fact: Colour blindness can affect both men and women, although men are at a far higher risk. One out of every ten men suffers from some sort of colour deficiency. Cones in the retina, which assist in identifying the colours red, green, and blue, are absent in the majority of colour blind people.
Myth 6: Sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyes.
Fact: While sitting too near to the screen can induce eyestrain and headaches, it will not harm children’s or adults’ vision. Sitting too close to the television, on the other hand, may indicate that the person is near-sighted and need glasses.
Myth 7: Reading in low/dim light is bad for your eyes.
Fact: Reading in low light is not harmful to your eyes. However, adequate light can help you see what you’re reading and prevent your eyes from tiring out as easily.
Myth 8: Looking directly at the sun can improve your eye health.
Fact: Staring at the sun for even a short period of time without the proper eye protection can permanently damage your retina and even cause blindness. It is always important to wear sunglasses even when it is not sunny!
Myth 9: All babies are born with blue eyes.
Fact: While their melanin is still evolving, new-borns’ eyes may seem blue when they are born. Cells begin to make melanin after roughly a year. Eye colour may darken when more melanin builds in the iris.