Busting Eye Myths in Tallahassee
Big Bend Family Eye Care is busting some eye myths to help people better understand their vision. For example, we have all been told by someone at some time, “You’ll hurt your eyes if you do that!” But do you really know what is or is not good for your eyes? Test yourself with the following true or false statements and see how much you know about your eyes.
“Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.”
False. Using your eyes in dim light does not damage them. For centuries, all nighttime reading and sewing was done by candlelight or with gas or kerosene lamps. However, good lighting does make reading easier and can prevent eye fatigue.
“Using computers can damage your eyes.”
False. Working on computers or video display terminals (VDTs) will not harm your eyes. Often, when using a VDT for long periods of time, just as when reading or doing other close work, you blink less often than normal. This reduced rate of blinking makes your eyes dry, which may lead to the feeling of eyestrain or fatigue.
Try to take regular breaks to look up or across the room. Looking at objects farther away often relieves the feeling of strain on your eyes. Keep the monitor between 18 to 24 inches from your face and at a slight downward angle. Also consider the use of artificial tears. If your vision blurs or your eyes tire easily, you should have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.
“Wearing the wrong kind of eyeglasses damages your eyes.”
False. Eyeglasses are devices used to sharpen your vision. Although correct eyeglasses or contacts help you to see clearly, wearing a pair with the wrong lenses, or not wearing glasses at all, will not physically damage your eyes. However, children less than eight years old who need eyeglasses should wear their own prescription to prevent the possibility of developing amblyopia or “lazy eye.”
“Children outgrow crossed or misaligned eyes.”
False. Children do not outgrow crossed eyes. A child whose eyes are misaligned may develop poor vision in one eye because the brain will “turn off” or ignore the image from the misaligned or lazy eye. The unused or misaligned eye will not develop good vision unless it is forced to work, usually by patching the stronger eye.
Children who appear to have misaligned eyes should be examined by an ophthalmologist. In general, the earlier misaligned eyes are treated, the better. Treatment may include patching, eyeglasses, eyedrops, surgery, or a combination of these methods.