How many times were you told as a child to eat your carrots because they were good for your eyes? How many of you currently tell this to your own kids? That is just one of many myths surrounding vision health and avoiding eye problems that are prevalent in our social ethos. But is it true? Or is it just a ploy used by parents to get their kids to eat their veggies? Vision Specialists in Omaha, Papillon, and Council Bluffs has a mission to equip and educate all of our patients with the information and tools they need to protect their vision, and part of that is separating reality from myth in regards to eye care. Join us today as we explore 10 common myths that you may or may not have heard regarding our eyes, and we’ll do our best to debunk or confirm them!
“You’ll Wear Out Your Eyes”
This is another one of those claims that seem to be in the parental toolkit. While reading in low-light conditions, or attempting to read very fine print, can cause eye strain and eventually fatigue, you’re not actually causing your eyes any permanent damage. This claim may stem from the fact that most people’s eyesight does change over time as a natural part of aging, but the claim that it is a direct result of “overusing” your vision is false.
“Eat Your Carrots”
We should address the carrots issue, as there is a grain of truth to it. Carrots contain vitamin A, which actually is beneficial for your eyesight, but they’re only a moderate source of this nutrient. In fact, there are plenty of healthy foods that include vitamin A, including leafy greens, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, yellow corn, and mangoes, just to name a few. We can conclude that, of course, vegetables and fruits with vitamin A are good for you, but eating carrots alone will not significantly change your vision. Fun fact: eating too many carrots can actually change the pigment of your skin, resulting in a condition called “carotenemia.”
Swimming and Contact Lenses
Despite what you may have been told, it’s never a good idea to go swimming while wearing soft contact lenses. If you should open your eyes while underwater, it’s very possible that some of that water can infiltrate your sensitive soft tissues and cause an infection. It’s just not worth the risk, so don’t do it.
Contact Lenses and Nearsightedness
Some people claim that wearing contact lenses will stop nearsightedness, or myopia, from advancing. Contact lenses can effectively help you manage your nearsightedness, and in some special cases prevent progression, but unfortunately, they do not have the ability to reverse the condition.
“Second Sight” and Cataracts
Have you or your parents experienced this strange phenomenon? Some people have found that, strangely, as they get older, it actually becomes easier for them to read. This is sometimes referred to as developing a “second sight.” While this is actually possible, it’s not always a sign that your vision is healing. In fact, any significant changes in your vision should be brought to your eye doctor’s attention, even something as seemingly positive as this “second sight.” What is likely occurring is the development of cataracts, which is resulting in nearsightedness. Or you’re Benjamin Button. Either way, whenever a significant change occurs in your eyesight, schedule an eye appointment immediately.
Sunglasses Always Protect You From the Sun
This claim is true, but only with a very specific caveat. Sunglasses will only protect your vision from the sun’s harmful UV light when they contain ultraviolet protection. While some sunglasses may darken your vision and make it easier to see out of doors, without properly treated lenses to deflect UV rays, they’re not protecting your eyes at all. Thankfully with Vision Specialists, you can have both tinted sunglasses lenses and normal lenses with UV protection, keeping your eyes safe from UV light year-round.
Outgrowing Crossed Eyes
Some children are born with a condition called “strabismus,” which is more commonly referred to as “crossed eyes.” While kids tend to outgrow many things, like aversions to certain foods or anxiety in social situations, misaligned eyes are not typically one of them. Vision Specialists can accurately diagnose and manage conditions due to ocular misalignments, but treatments are most effective in younger patients. Don’t count on your child outgrowing this condition — instead, schedule a comprehensive pediatric eye exam with us in Omaha or Council Bluffs, and we’ll walk you through the treatment options available.
Digital Screens Damage Your Vision
This one’s a little tricky because the answer is both yes and no. Does staring at a digital screen for extended periods of time damage your vision? For most people, thankfully, the answer is no. However, extended periods of time spent staring at a screen can cause tremendous eye strain, along with a myriad of other physical problems. So while you may not be doing permanent damage to your vision, you may still be experiencing several adverse effects from screen usage. There’s actually a name for it — digital vision syndrome, and it affects over 65% of Americans. Digital vision syndrome can present itself in the form of headaches and migraines, neck and back tension, and the feeling of tired eyes. Vision Specialists is proud to offer Neurolens® technology, a type of lens specifically designed to address this condition.
Sitting Too Close to the TV is Bad For Your Kids
Thankfully, the only real damage that happens to your kids when they sit too close to the television screen is that they can’t fully appreciate the cinematography of the latest animated movie. Sitting too close to the TV is uncomfortable, and certainly can cause some problems with posture, but it isn’t actually doing any lasting damage to their vision. We recommend getting a child their own special chair that can be situated at an appropriate distance from a TV screen.
You Should Only See Your Eye Doctor When You Notice a Problem
Of course, this is false! Even if you believe your eyesight is perfect and should only really be fret over when you hit your 40s, you should always be proactive in protecting your vision. Regular check-ups mean you stay up-to-date with your prescriptions and stay vigilant about detecting early signs of eye diseases like glaucoma. Your eye doctor at Vision Specialists can also detect issues that may stem from cardiovascular problems that are affecting your vision!
Schedule Your Next Eye Exam in Omaha Today
Vision Specialists proudly serves the midwest region with two offices in Omaha, one in Papillon, and yet another in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It’s time to stop taking your vision for granted and take control of your eye health. Contact the friendly team at Vision Specialists and schedule your comprehensive eye exam today!