9th Feb 2017
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Fact or fiction? Five common eyesight myths explained
Older man with glasses straining to see screen

You’ve heard it all before: carrots improve your vision, while reading in dim light makes your eyesight worse. There are a lot of ‘facts’ about what is good or bad for your eyesight. Today, we reveal which of them are indeed factual and which are simply fiction.

1. Wearing glasses weakens your eyes

Fiction: The widely held belief that wearing your glasses at all times causes your eyes to become dependent is actually a furphy. Your eyes will not grow weaker over time as a result of using corrective lenses. Your vision may change over time due to ageing or the development of a disease, but this will not be a result of your prescription.

2. Looking at a computer can damage your eyesight

Fact: The light of the screen itself won’t damage your eyes but spending too much time looking at a computer (or any screen, for that matter) may increase your risk of short-sightedness. Nowadays, we spend a lot of time looking at screens, meaning our eyes may become adjusted to focusing on close objects and less able to see things farther away. Before you switch off your devices, however, it’s worth noting that any close-up work, such as reading, may have the same effect.

3. Reading in dim light worsens your sight

Fiction: While reading in dim light can strain your eyes and cause fatigue and headaches, it will not actually damage your eyesight. The same applies for watching television in the dark, or sitting too close to the television, which can cause eye strain but no lasting deterioration of your sight.

4. Eating carrots improves your vision

Fact: Your mum was right about the rabbit food. Carrots contain essential vitamin A, a nutrient known to support good vision. However, carrots will only supply you with a small amount of Vitamin A. Other foods such as milk, cheese, egg yolk and liver also contain the nutrient.

5. Your sunnies should have SPF

Fact: It’s widely known that the sun’s ultraviolet rays cause damage to skin and vision. Like your skin, your eyes are susceptible to both short- and long-term damage from the harmful UV radiation. According to the Cancer Council of Australia your eyes can become sunburned – a condition called keratitis. This is where the cornea is burned and becomes inflamed. Long-term sun damage to eyes can present in squamous cell cancers on the eye’s surface, skin cancer around the eye, cataracts, retina damage and clouding of the cornea.

If you suspect your vision might be worsening, why not take this eye and vision quiz and book an appointment to see an optometrist?

What other eye myths would you like proven wrong or right?

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