Eye Health: Fact and Fiction

How much do you know about your eyes? Some things you may think you know as fact… may not be the truth.

Myth: Reading in low light can harm your vision. FACT: Reading in low light may strain your eyes but it won’t ruin your eyesight. So the next time you catch the kids reading with a flashlight under the covers, don’t worry! Eye strain isn’t permanent. I always got yelled at for reading without enough lights on.

Myth: Sitting too close to the television can harm your vision. FACT: Contrary to mom’s warnings, sitting too close to the television isn’t going to hurt your eyes. It may (temporarily) strain your eyes, or even leave you with a headache, but that’s it. Go ahead… sit as close as you want!

Myth: Sunglasses have to be dark to be useful. FACT: Even lightly tinted sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful sunlight… as long as they are 100 percent UVA and UVB protective. Aside from picking a pair of shades with UVA and UVB protection, the best thing you can do with sunglasses is make sure they fit properly. Even a quarter-inch slip down your nose can let in harmful rays — as much as twenty percent more than with the sunglasses on properly. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can harm your vision permanently.

And believe it or not, sugar substitutes can actually make your eyes sensitive to light. Other causes for light sensitivity? Antibiotics and some oral contraceptives. Check with your doctor, pharmacist, or eye doctor if you are having problems with light sensitivity and believe it may be due to medication or diet.

Your eyes are always changing. Schedule an eye exam yearly to keep up with any changes in vision. Ignore your eyes for too long and you may end up losing your precious sense of vision.