“Stop sitting so close to the TV, it will ruin your eyes!” your mom would yell. Now you find yourself saying the same things. But is it really true? It is time to clarify some of the most pressing questions about eyes for good.
MYTH or truth: Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes.
False. Watching TV at a short distance will not ruin your eyes or change your prescription or refractive status BUT it could be a habit that is indicative of a vision problem. A child who consistently sits close to the TV may have trouble seeing clearly at a further distance. A comprehensive eye exam would be a good idea to rule out any vision difficulties.
MYTH or truth: Reading in the dark will ruin your eyes.
False. No permanent damage comes from reading in poor light BUT reading in poor light takes effort and effort can lead to strain, eye fatigue and even headaches.
MYTH or truth: The iPad will ruin your eyes
This is both true and false. Playing on a digital screen for many hours can cause eye fatigue but it will not make your child lose vision. It is important to understand that staring at a screen does not allow the eyes to practice critical visual skills like depth perception and tracking the way playing tennis outdoors does. A digital screen only allows one plain of focus and limited tracking and the development of visual skills can become suppressed from lack of practice.
MYTH or truth: Children with crossed-eyes will grow out of it as they get older.
False. “Crossed-eyes” is a condition called Strabismus. Strabismus can lead to lazy eye or amblyopia as the turned eye is under-utalised. This means that a turned eye can result in very poor and blurry vision. Both eyes need to work together for vision to develop correctly in both eyes and best results are achieved when corrections are started as soon as possible.
MYTH or truth: Staring into the sun can damage your eyes.
Unlike the other myths on this list, this one is actually fact. Staring directly into the sun can lead to solar retinopathy, a condition characterized by UV damage to the retina. If you avert your gaze within a few seconds, your eyesight should return to normal presently, but intense bursts of light can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness if you’re not careful. Most cases clear themselves up within a month, though some cases have been known to last for more than a year. That makes sunglasses a little more appealing, doesn’t it?
MYTH or thruth: Wearing glasses will ruin your eyes and you will need stronger glasses in the future.
False. Wearing glasses does not ruin your eyes and conversely, wearing glasses will also not improve them. Glasses are not a therapeutic tool like medicine to heal the eyes and improve vision over time but rather a tool for clarity and comfort. Have you ever been grocery shopping without a trolley? Imagine running between the isles with armfuls of products back and forth to the till. That kind of activity is not only slow but also inefficient and you’ll definitely forget the milk! Glasses are the “trolley” helping you work and function faster, more efficiently and more comfortably. Eyes can of course naturally deteriorate due to family genetics, environment and age but certain vision conditions can be slowed down with a healthy diet, wearing sunglasses and having regular eye exams.