Ask Our Optometrist, Dr. Mills: Countdown of the Top 10 Myths About Eyes & Vision (Part 2)
There are numerous vision myths out there about our eyes, what makes vision better and what can make vision worse. Dr. Mills is here to address the top 10 myths about eyes and vision in two parts. In part 1, Dr. Mills addresses everything from eating carrots to reading in the dark. Check out the second half of our countdown below.
5. Only boys can be color blind.
Color blindness occurs when a person cannot distinguish certain color differences or see a color. Most commonly those that are colorblind cannot see red and green hues, but some patients can also have difficulty with blues. Color blindness is most often an inherited condition, and although it affects males more predominantly since it usually follows an x-linked pattern, females can also be affected.
4. Crossing your eyes will cause them to stay permanently crossed.
As kids, we’ve all tried to cross our eyes and we’ve also probably heard our parents tell us to stop it since they will stay like that forever. Not true. Although it takes a lot of effort to cross, or converge, our eyes which may lead to strain or fatigue, they cannot stay permanently crossed in that position long-term. Unless you were born with a “lazy eye” or an eye that is permanently crossed in or out, you won’t cause your eyes to not be straight by occasionally crossing them.
3. Squinting may damage your vision.
Squinting will not actually damage your vision; it actually may be helping you to see more clearly by focusing light more definitively. It may be a sign though that you need glasses or a change in your prescription. Squinting could also be an indicator of inflammation in the eye which could be a sign of a problem that would need to be treated by your eye doctor, especially if you are particularly light sensitive. Children sometimes squint to reduce double vision so be sure to get them to their eye doctor to rule out a vision problem.
2. Starring directly in the sun is ok if you are wearing sunglasses.
Not true – another popular myth about eyes! It is never recommend to stare at the sun as the sun radiates UV light which can damage the cornea, lens and retina. Solar retinopathy is actually when the retina permanently becomes damaged from UV light, and this can be from starring directly at the sun or from a welders light without using proper protection. This damage can lead to long-term vision loss. So even if you are wearing sunglasses with good UV protection, never look at the sun or a solar eclipse.
And the number one vision myth…
1. You don’t need regular eye examination if you don’t have vision problems.
It is essential to have routine annual eye exams in order to pick up or screen for serious conditions that may involve the eyes, but not necessarily be causing symptoms. Conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more serious conditions like brain tumors or cancers may show up during a routine eye exam without having any other symptoms. Early detection is key and the earlier disease can be diagnosed, the quicker treatment can be started and hopefully preserve vision and more importantly your life. So even though you may not need glasses and have excellent vision, it is still recommended to get in for your yearly eye examination.
Dr. Vanessa Mills is now accepting new general eye care patients over the age of 10.