Archive for December 8th, 2007

“Don’T Sit Close To TV Or Else You Go Blind” and Other Myths About The EYE!

December 8, 2007

Hearsays are what the physicians hate the most.  Patients always have some hesitancy to follow some of our advices due to what they hear from their friends or relatives.  Good if the problem is not life threatening but if so, almost always the skill of the physician is put to the test versus that of the popular beliefs based on hearsay within the community.

Since childhood, I was told not to sit too close to a TV or else Ill go blind.  Or not to go straight to bed if my hair is wet otherwise Ill also get blind.  Am sure a lot of parents continue to counsel their kids based on hearsays that have been passed from generation to generation.

I cam across a nice compilation of myths regarding the eye and its care from the Harvard Health Publications: The Harvard Health Beat which I want to share:


5 common eye myths dispelled

  1. Myth: Doing eye exercises will delay the need for glasses.Fact: Eye exercises will not improve or preserve vision or reduce the need for glasses. Your vision depends on many factors, including the shape of your eye and the health of the eye tissues, none of which can be significantly altered with eye exercises.

  2. Myth: Reading in dim light will worsen your vision.Fact: Although dim lighting will not adversely affect your eyesight, it will tire your eyes out more quickly. The best way to position a reading light is to have it shine directly onto the page, not over your shoulder. A desk lamp with an opaque shade pointing directly at the reading material is the best possible arrangement. A light that shines over your shoulder will cause a glare, making it more difficult to see the reading material.

  3. Myth: Eating carrots is good for the eyes.Fact: There is some truth in this one. Carrots, which contain vitamin A, are one of several vegetables that are good for the eyes. But fresh fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, which contain more antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, are even better. Antioxidant vitamins may help protect the eyes against cataract and age-related macular degeneration. But eating any vegetables or supplements containing these vitamins or substances will not prevent or correct basic vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

  4. Myth: It’s best not to wear glasses all the time. Taking a break from glasses or contact lenses allows your eyes to rest.Fact: If you need glasses for distance or reading, use them. Attempting to read without reading glasses will simply strain your eyes and tire them out. Using your glasses won’t worsen your vision or lead to any eye disease.

  5. Myth: Staring at a computer screen all day is bad for the eyes.Fact: Although using a computer will not harm your eyes, staring at a computer screen all day will contribute to eyestrain or tired eyes. Adjust lighting so that it does not create a glare or harsh reflection on the screen. Also, when you’re working on a computer or doing other close work such as reading or needlepoint, it’s a good idea to rest your eyes briefly every hour or so to lessen eye fatigue. Finally, people who stare at a computer screen for long periods tend not to blink as often as usual, which can cause the eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable. Make a conscious effort to blink regularly so that the eyes stay well lubricated and do not dry out.


Hope this post will remind everyone that myths will continue to be with us but the access of new information technology should now help us decide to follow them or not! Gone are the days that we rely on what our grandparents say about something and believe in everything they say about the ins and outs of daily living.

In Health… Rely Only on FACTS!