Myth vs truth: Eye-opening facts about vision

Eyesight seems to be the most important sense to a human being.

Although most people are concerned about eye health in general, there is a lot of misinformation out there about eye care.

Here are the three most common myths and facts about a person’s vision.

Myth #1: Sitting to close to the TV will damage your vision

When you were young, you may have been warned that sitting too close to the TV would ruin your eyesight. Not true.

Watching too much television or even sitting too close to the TV causes no physical harm to your eyes whatsoever.

What does happen however is that your eyes will become tired faster, or you may develop a headache from spending so much time watching TV, looking at LCDs, and flat screens.

Working on the computer for long stretches of time and watching 3-D movies also cause the same effects.

If your job requires that you work in these conditions, it is helpful to rest your eyes periodically.

Myth #2: Reading in the dark worsens vision

Many parents forbid their children from reading in the dark or with only a dim light on due to the negative affect it will have on their children’s eyes.

Truth is, reading in dim light doesn’t cause any damage to your eyes. It only makes reading harder.

For centuries before electricity was available in our homes, people read and worked by candlelight and gas lamps. These devices provided even less light than current electric lights, yet no one’s vision had worsened because of it.

However, reading and working with a good light source can help prevent eye fatigue and make it easier to focus on what you’re doing.

Myth #3: Wearing glasses makes your eyes dependent on them

While wearing eyeglasses can help correct blurry vision, it does not in any way make your eyes dependent on them. The truth is that it’s you who is getting used to seeing things more clearly.

Similarly, wearing glasses with the wrong prescription won’t ruin your eyes. You just won’t see as clearly as you would with the proper prescription.

Fact #1: Artificial sweeteners can raise sensitivity of eyes to light

The use of artificial sweeteners, such as cyclamates can make your eyes more sensitive to light.

Other factors including antibiotics, oral contraceptives, high blood pressure drugs, diuretics, and diabetic medications can also increase eye sensitivity to light.

Fact #2: Children with crossed eyes can be treated

Strabismus, the medical term for the condition called “crossed eyes” in children cannot correct itself.

However, with medical intervention, this eye condition is more easily corrected at a younger age.

Therefore, it is important for parents to have their child’s eyes tested early, first as an infant and then again at age two.

Fact #3: Carrots help improve vision

Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for good vision. Eating carrots will supply you with some degree of vitamin A needed for good eyesight.

However, carrots are not the only food that provides vitamin A. You can also find this nutrient in milk, cheese, egg yolk, and liver.

Having a balanced diet containing a variety of foods will bring similar benefits.

This article first appeared in and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.