Five Common Eye Care Myths
September is Save Your Sight Month. EyeCare America, a public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, shares a list of misconceptions seniors may have about their eyes:
Myth: Carrots are the best food for good vision.
Fact: Yes, carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are essential for maintaining good sight. But carrots are not the only eye-healthy food. If you’re not a fan of carrots, don’t worry— there are plenty of other foods from which to choose. For more beta-carotene-rich choices, look for deep orange or yellow fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, peaches and sweet potatoes.
Myth: Reading, sewing or doing other close work in dim light can damage your eyes.
Fact: Reading in dim light can cause eye fatigue, but it will not damage your eyes. Good lighting will make reading easier and will prevent eye fatigue, especially for older people whose lenses no longer change shape as easily as they did when they were younger.
Myth: Using computers can damage your eyes.
Fact: Looking at your computer monitor will not harm your eyes. Often, when using a computer for long periods of time, just as when reading or doing other close work, you blink less often than normal. This reduced rate of blinking makes your eyes dry and may lead to the feeling of eyestrain or fatigue.
Myth: Older people sometimes develop "second sight," which means their eyesight is improving.
Fact: Older individuals who wear reading eyeglasses sometimes find themselves able to read without their eyeglasses and think that their eyesight is improving. The truth is they are becoming more nearsighted, which can be a sign of early cataract development.
Myth: You only need an eye exam if you notice that your vision is deteriorating.
Fact: A variety of vision conditions and diseases lack clear warning signs. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to confirm that your eyes are healthy and disease-free. In many instances, damage caused by eye disease cannot be reversed, so it is very important to get regular eye exams.
In honor of September’s Save Your Sight Month, EyeCare America encourages people to visit its online referral center at www.eyecareamerica.org to see if they qualify for a sight-saving eye exam and care, often at no out-of-pocket cost. This online referral center also enables friends and family members to find out instantly if their loved ones are eligible to be matched with an EyeCare America volunteer ophthalmologist.
Established in 1985, EyeCare America, the public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. Visit the EyeCare America website for consumer information on eye diseases and treatment.
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