5 Eyesight Myths Dispelled

Updated: Jul. 01, 2022

Check out five common misunderstandings about how our eyes work.

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

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest