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True or False: Debunking Common Vision Myths

June 28, 2011

Facts about the vision myths and rumors you’ve been hearing since childhood.

Do you remember all of the crazy things your parents used to tell you in order to get you to behave? “You better stop making that funny expression or your face is gonna get stuck like that!” “If you wanna grow up to be big and strong, you better finish all of your veggies!”

While many of us grew up and stopped believing in these humorous sayings, not all of these childhood myths were outrageously unfeasible. In fact, to this day, people still believe many of the vision and eye care myths that parents used to lecture us about when we were younger.

But now, once and for all, we are getting to the bottom of the most common vision myths and sharing whether or not they are true or false:


True or False: Sitting Too Close to the TV Can Hurt Your Eyes

FALSE! While many of us were told otherwise when we were kids, there is no scientific proof that shows that sitting too close to the television will cause any kind damage to your vision. The worst that could happen is getting eye strain or a stiff neck after sitting close for too long.

Although, it should be noted that if you need to sit close to the TV in order to clearly see what is going on, this may be a sign that you already have vision problems such as nearsightedness.

However, while the distance in which you watch TV may not matter, recent studies have shown that watching too much TV may have a long-term negative effect on your vision, so it’s still a good idea to step away from the television and get good, old-fashion outdoor exercise.


True or False: Computer Monitors Won’t Damage Your Eyes

TRUE! Computer monitors are no more likely to damage your vision than TVs are. However, when people are working on the computer, they tend to blink less which can cause eye dryness.

In order to prevent dry eyes, follow the 20-20-20 rule while working on the computer for long periods of time: Every 20 minutes that you are using an electronic device, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.


True or False: Reading In Dim Light Will Hurt Your Eyes

FALSE! The only effect that dim lighting can have on your eyes when reading is increased eye strain. This can cause your eyes to become tired and words to become blurry, but these effects are only temporary.

However, don’t feel foolish for believing this myth―In 2007, this common misconception was named one of the seven medical myths that doctors themselves were likely to believe.


True or False: Eating Carrots Will Improve Your Vision

FALSE! While carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, essential nutrients for healthy vision, eating them will not improve your eyesight.

However, even if they don’t give you 20/20 vision, it is still important to include carrots in your diet; They can help provide protection against macular degeneration and the development of cataracts. They are also an essential part of a healthy diet.


True or False: You Should Get Regular Eye Exams Even If You Don’t Have Vision Problems

TRUE! Just like annual visits to your primary doctor, regular eye exams are a vital part of health care. Because many eye diseases don’t show early symptoms, regular eye exams may catch a number of vision conditions before they become serious.

People between the ages of 18-60 to get an eye exam every two years. Seniors aged 61 and older should receive annual exams.


If you have any other common eye care myth questions, feel free to ask the doctor!  We may feature your question in an upcoming blog post.


Image source: Jupiter Images

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