8 Common Eye Care Myths Debunked

by Nov 8, 2021

Here is a fun article to answer several commonly asked questions in the eyecare world—each myth will be categorized as being fact (true) or fiction (false).


Myth: Eating carrots makes your eyesight better.

Fiction. This myth actually originates to World War One. The United States had developed radar technology that could be used from aircrafts to help find and destroy enemies. They did not want Europe to find out, or get ahold of, radar technology so when asked about how US troops were able to detect incoming enemy planes so easily, the government told them they were feeding their pilots carrots to make their eyesight better! While many vegetables provide nutrition for good eye health—vitamin A is great for health–there is no evidence to point toward carrots improving eyesight.


Myth: Wearing glasses will make your vision poorer over time, as the eyes will get lazy and not want to work anymore.

Fiction. The eyes may adapt to their glasses, making vision seem worse when not wearing glasses, but wearing glasses does not actually make your vision worse. A person who has never worn glasses before may present to the eye doctor thinking their vision is fine, as he or she does not know any better, perhaps their vision has always been this way. For the sake of this example, we will say a person sees 20/40. When the doctor does the examination and shows the patient that they can see 20/20 with glasses, it is a significant improvement and the patient happily chooses to wear his or her new pair of glasses all the time. Now when this person takes his or her glasses off, 20/40 vision is no longer acceptable, as they have now seen how great his or her vision can be. His or her eyesight has not gotten worse without the glasses—they’re still seeing 20/40! It just seems like it, as now the person no longer wants to walk around uncorrected. However, this is not to say that eyesight may not get worse over time—prescriptions can change. They can get better in some cases and worse in others, but the change in prescription has nothing to do with whether or not the individual has been wearing glasses.


Myth: All glasses are made the same, so I can lend my glasses or contact lenses to my friend and he’ll be able to see better.

Fiction. There are thousands of different variables that go into a glasses prescription. While someone else’s prescription may be similar to yours, it is likely not the exact same. You should NEVER share contact lenses with someone else, as that opens the floodgates for spreading infections. If you share a pair of glasses with someone else and you think it improves your vision, use this as a sign to go see an eye doctor and get your prescription figured out! You might be amazed at how much better your doctor can get you to see in comparison to borrowing your friend’s prescription.


Myth: Excessive screen time (computers, tablets, TV’s, cellphones etc.) hurts your eyes.

Unsure. This is a myth that researchers are currently trying to figure out. Excessive screen time is something that is still relatively new to human society. It is currently hypothesized that blue light emitted from these devices can cause harm to the eyes when used in excess. For this reason, many doctors recommend blue light filtering glasses to help those who work with screens regularly. Some individuals report that wearing these glasses helps to reduce eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Others report no difference. This is a myth that might not be debunked for years to come!


Myth: Excessive near work (reading, writing, computers, tablets, etc.) makes your eyesight worse.

Fact. Excessive near work, especially during the developmental years, has been shown to induce nearsightedness (myopia). In fact, myopia has been declared a global endemic! It is hypothesized that forcing the eyes to focus on objects up close for prolonged periods of time during childhood years shifts the developmental focus from distance to near. What can we do about this? Limit screen time for those under the age of 18. Spending at least 2-3 hours each day outdoors during these years has been linked to lower prescriptions! If avoiding near work is unavoidable, use the 20-20-20 rule—every 20 minutes take a 20 second break to look at an object 20 feet away. This helps the focusing system relax and shifts the emphasis back to distance objects!


Myth: You only need to see the eye doctor for eye care if your vision is blurry.

Fiction. Eye exams are important for everyone—babies, adults, grandparents, teenagers—if you have eyes, you should be seeing an eye doctor yearly! The eyes are very unique organs. Only the outermost layer of the eye (cornea) has nerves that can detect pain. Any other changes in the eyes can go undetected without a thorough eye exam, if these changes are left to progress it can cause irreversible vision loss that might have been prevented if you saw your eye doctor sooner.


Myth: Only family doctors can treat pink eye.

Fiction. Eye doctors are actually the preferred doctor to call if you wake up with pink eye. Many eye doctors have a work-in policy and will see you the same day for eye infections and emergencies. Eye doctors spend many years training exactly for this moment—if you have a toothache you call the dentist, so if there’s something wrong with your eyes, why don’t you call your eye doctor? We’d love to help!


Myth: Cataracts are a disease only the misfortunate develop.

Fiction. Cataracts are part of the natural aging process—given we live long enough, we will all eventually develop cataracts. While not everyone will choose to have their cataracts removed, everyone over the age of 60 will show signs of at least the start of cataract development. Cataracts are nothing to fear, however. Cataract surgery has greatly advanced over the years and is now a very common out-patient procedure. Many even leave cataract surgery seeing 20/20 again without the need of distance glasses!


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about eye care or eye care myths. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Joseph Goldberg, Karen Darrell and Patricia Jones provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

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