Facts and fallacies about caring for your eyes

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

Did your mom ever tell you reading by flashlight under the covers was going to ruin your eyes? Did grandma encourage you to eat all your carrots so you'd see better?

Turns out our parents didn't always know best when it comes to our eyes.

Here are some facts and fallacies about our eyes and how to care for them:

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Myth: Eating carrots will improve your vision.

Fact: While it's true carrots are high in Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for sight, only a small amount is necessary for good vision.

Myth: Failure to use proper glasses will hurt your eyes.

Fact: While corrective glasses or contacts are needed to improve your eyesight, using your eyes with or without glasses will not damage them further.

Myth: Reading in dim light can hurt your eyes.

Fact: Reading in dim light can cause eye fatigue, but it will not hurt your eyes.

Myth: Looking at computer screens can damage my eyes.

Fact: While complaints of eye fatigue and discomfort are not unusual among computer users, these symptoms are not caused by the computer screen itself. Computer screens give off little or no harmful radiation (such as X-rays or UV rays) that can cause eye damage such as cataracts.

Myth: An eye exam is necessary only if you're having problems.

Fact: Everyone should follow a proper eye health program that includes a regular eye exam, whether or not they are having any noticeable signs of problems.

Myth: There's nothing you can do about preventing sight loss.

Fact: Regular eye exams and proper safety eyewear can save your sight.