7 surprising myths about your eyes debunked

When it comes to vision and eyesight, there are lots of rumours and ‘old wives’ tales’ out there. To separate fact from fiction, keep reading.

Your eyes can become dependent on reading glasses and get worse. False

Using reading glasses will not cause your eyesight to deteriorate, nor will your eyes become dependent on them. Eyesight naturally weakens over time and with age. This is a condition commonly known as Presbyopia, a natural progression of blurred vision that can begin around the age of 40. If you currently use reading glasses and notice your eyesight is getting worse it is likely you need to increase the strength of your glasses.

Not wearing your glasses will make your eyesight worse. False

Whilst there are no long-term implications for not wearing your reading glasses, you can expect to experience eyestrain and headaches as a result. To prevent unnecessary discomfort, it’s advisable to wear your reading glasses when you require them.

Trying on someone else’s glasses will damage your eyes. False

When someone you know has a new snazzy set of glasses it can be tempting to try them on. And as long as they don’t mind you can, trying on someone else’s glasses will not cause any irreversible damage to your own eyesight. If you wear them for too long you could end up giving yourself a headache, but this will have no long-term effect on your overall eye health.

If you read in the dark your eyes will become weak. False

Again, not true. Reading in the dark will not cause your eyesight to weaken or cause you any long-term trouble. However, you might find you suffer from frequent headaches as a result of the additional eye strain. Turning on a soft light behind you will make reading more comfortable.

You need a prescription for reading glasses. False

You can purchase reading glasses online or at a pharmacy without a prescription or a trip to the opticians*. Before wasting money buying reading glasses that aren’t right for your eyes, you can test what strength reading glasses you need here.

*If you are worried about your eyesight or experiencing discomfort and headaches you should check with your optician and attend regular appointments.

Sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyes. False

Whilst watching TV for too long can cause eyestrain, it will not harm your eyes. In the 60’s, where the advice originated, TV’s emitted mild levels of radiation (which could be harmful) but nowadays this is no longer a problem. If you notice a child sitting unusually close to the TV it could be because they are near-sighted and require a check-up with the optician.

Eating carrots can make you see in the dark. False

It has long been rumoured carrots can improve your eyesight and help you see in the dark. Whilst it has been proven that foods packed with vitamin A can help protect and maintain healthy eyes, claims carrots can improve already limited eyesight or give you super-human night vision are over-exaggerated.

Looking directly at the sun will cause irreversible damage. True

This one is true. Not only can looking straight at the sun cause headaches, it can result in permanent damage to your retina. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation has been linked with eye disorders such as solar retinitis, cataracts, corneal dystrophies and macular degeneration to name a few. You should never look directly into the sun and wear UV protected sunglasses to shield your eyes from damaging sunrays.



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