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Eye Care Facts & Myths

Did you know?

Myth: Reading in dim lights is harmful to your eyes.
Fact: Although reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired, it is not harmful.

Myth: It is not harmful to watch a welder or look at the sun if you squint, or look through narrowed eyelids.
Fact: Even if you squint, ultra-violet light still gets to your eyes, damaging the cornea, lens and retina. Never watch welding without wearing the proper protection. Never look directly at an eclipse.

Myth: Using a computer, or video display terminal (VDT), is harmful to the eyes.
Fact: Although using a VDT is associated with eyestrain or fatigue, it is not harmful to the eyes.

Myth: If you use your eyes too much, you wear them out.
Fact: You can use your eyes as much as you wish - they do not wear out.

Myth: Wearing poorly-fit glasses damages your eyes.
Fact: Although a good glasses fit is required for good vision, a poor fit does not damage your eyes.

Myth: Wearing poorly fit contacts does not harm your eyes.
Fact: Poorly fit contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea (the window at the front of your eye). Make certain your eyes are checked regularly by your ophthalmologist if you wear contacts.

Myth: You do not need to have your eyes checked until you are in your 40s or 50s.
Fact: There are several eye diseases that do not show symptoms that are treatable (most notably glaucoma) that can begin prior to your 40s.

Myth: Safety goggles are more trouble than they are worth.
Fact: Safety goggles prevent many potentially blinding injuries every year. Keep goggles handy and use them!

Myth: It's okay to swim while wearing soft contact lenses.
Fact: Potentially blinding eye infections can result from swimming or opening your eyes under water in a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.

Myth: Children outgrow crossed eyes.
Fact: Children do not outgrow truly crossed eyes. A child whose eyes are misaligned has strabismus and can develop poor vision in one eye (a condition known as amblyopia) because the brain turns off the misaligned or "lazy" eye. The sooner crossed or misaligned eyes are treated, the less likely the child will have permanently impaired vision.

Myth: A cataract must be ripe before it can be removed.
Fact: With modern cataract surgery, a cataract does not have to ripen before it is removed. When a cataract keeps you from doing the things you like or need to do, consider having it removed.

Myth: Eyes can be transplanted.
Fact: The eye cannot be transplanted. It is connected to the brain by the optic nerve, which cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. The cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye, can be transplanted. Surgeons often use plastic intraocular lens implants (IOLs) to replace natural lenses removed during cataract surgery.

Myth: There's Nothing You Can Do to Prevent Vision Loss
Fact: At the very first signs of vision loss, such as blurred vision or flashes of light, youshould see your doctor. If detected early enough, depending on the cause, there are treatments that can correct, stop, or slow down the loss of vision.

Myth: Using a Nightlight in Your Child's Room Will Contribute to Nearsightedness
Fact: It has been thought that using a nightlight in your child's bedroom may contribute to nearsightedness, however there is not enough evidence to support this claim. Keeping a nightlight on in your baby's room may actually help them learn to focus and develop important eye coordination skills when they are awake.

Myth: Using Glasses or Contacts Will Weaken My Eyesight, and My Eyes Will Eventually Become Dependent On Them
Fact: Your eyes will not grow weaker as a result of using corrective lenses. Your prescription may change over time due to aging or the presence of disease, but it is not because of your current prescription.

Myth: Looking Straight at the Sun Will Damage Your Sight.
Fact: Looking at the sun may not only cause headache and distort your vision temporarily, but it can also cause permanent eye damage. Any exposure to sunlight adds to the cumulative effects of ultraviolet radiation on your eyes. UV exposure has been linked to eye disorders such as macular degeneration, solar retinitis, and corneal dystrophies.