5 Eyesight Myths Dispelled

Check out five of common misunderstandings about how our eyes work.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Everyone knows that eating carrots is good for your eyes. Right? Well, kind of. But not as good as kale. Check out a few more of the common misunderstandings about how our eyes work.

Myth: Doing eye exercises will keep you from needing glasses.

Fact: Eye exercises do not enhance or preserve vision or diminish the need for glasses. Your vision relies on the shape of your eyes, the health of your eye tissues, and many other factors, none of which can be appreciably altered with eye exercises.

Myth: Reading in dim light will worsen your vision.

Fact: Dim lighting can make your eyes feel fatigued more quickly, but it will not harm your eyesight. Focus your reading light directly on the page you are reading, not over your shoulder. A light that shines from over your shoulder can create glare, making it more difficult to see.

Myth: Eating carrots improves your eyesight.

Fact: Carrots do contain vitamin A, which is good for the eyes. But dark green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit are even better. They contain more antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, which can protect the eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. However, eating vegetables and/or taking supplements will not prevent or repair vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Myth: You shouldn’t wear glasses all the time. Taking a break from glasses or contact lenses allows your eyes to rest.

Fact: If you are prescribed glasses for distance or reading, use them. Trying to read without reading glasses will simply strain your eyes and tire them out. Using glasses won’t weaken your vision or lead to eye disease.

Myth: Staring at a computer screen all day is harmful to the eyes.

Fact: Spending the day staring at a screen can tire or strain your eyes, but it will not hurt them. Make sure lighting doesn’t create a glare on your screen. When spending long periods at your keyboard, take a break now and then to rest your eyes to reduce fatigue. Also, don’t forget to blink. Your eyes need to stay lubricated to feel comfortable.

Source: Harvard Health Publications/Harvard Medical School

PLUS: 8 Tricks to Add Years to Your Life

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  • Your Comments

    • Brian Patterson

      Why do some people wear glasses all the time? I’m nearsighted and i don’t wear them all the time.

    • Kelly

      Reader’s Digest. Still back in the Stone Age…

    • Reuben Schwartzschild

      Wow. So many lies in this article.

    • http://image.ca/locations/canada/bc/surrey-guildford.aspx Vincent Davis

      One should definitely avoid stressing the eyes out. Carrots (or dark green veggies) can’t magically cure the strain you could be putting your eyes through. Give it some time off; like any other part of the body, it needs rest for peak performance.

    • http://www.frechetteeye.com Danny Collins

      Eye exercising means finding a way to relax your eyes. This is very useful for those who work in front of computers or who are exposed to TV monitors for more than an hour. If you stare at computer for more than an hour, there’s a tendency for your eyes to get tired. It is important that you take some minutes of rest to relax your eyes.  

    • http://www.ecot.com/lasik-in-houston-texas/ Karina Chiodo

      Wow, all this time I thought eating carrots would improve the vision. Just like any other parts of the body, ours shouldn’t be over-used, although there are certain cases where the disease develops because of genes. Always consult the eye doctor if you experience severe blurry vision which causes you to feel dizzy.

      • Lucid

        They do improve vision. The way the statement is worded makes it sound like carrots and only carrots are the super vision food. All vegetables contain vitamins that will help you keep healthy eyes, and healthy eyes usually means good eyesight. Like it says in the article, dark green and leafy vegetables usually contain more vitamins and would be better for you than carrots.

        • Kelly

          The carotenes in carrots and other vegetables will do no good unless one is getting enough zinc to help convert them into both retinol, and then retinal, for use in the eyes. And those with thyroid problems cannot make that conversion so need to take retinol and zinc. Among other nutrients…

          And the article is wrong when it says staring at a computer screen all day won’t hurt your eyes. Of course it will, if the eye strain goes on for long enough.