How would we ever have survived our childhood without our mothers’ protection. Anyone who remembers their mother yelling, “Stop that! You’ll put an eye out!” knows that your healthy eyesight was always one of her top concerns. However, you might be surprised to learn that some of the advice our moms might have drilled into our heads doesn’t completely hold up to science. Below are five things your mother might have told you. How many of them have you always believed?
- “Move back from the TV; you’ll hurt your eyes!” Actually, mom, there is no evidence that sitting too close to the television or watching for too long will damage your eyes. Children tend to sit closer to the TV because they’re able to focus on objects closer to their eyes than adults can. That’s why they tend to hold books closer too. This generally changes as they get older. If not, it could be a sign of myopia, or nearsightedness. Children should have regular eye exams to monitor their vision as they grow.
- “Eat all your carrots; they’re good for your eyes.” Mom was partially right on this one. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for vision. However, only a tiny amount is necessary, and many other vegetables include Vitamin A. A well-balanced diet will give you all the nutrition your vision needs. So if you’re still not a fan of carrots … eat your spinach!
- “It’s too dark in here to read; you’ll hurt your eyes.” Reading in dim light can strain your eyes, but it won’t do any permanent damage.
- “Don’t forget to wear your glasses; you’ll ruin your eyes.” This is true for a small number of people who have an eye problem that can be corrected. For most of us, however, our vision problems are caused by heredity or injury. While corrective glasses or contacts will improve our vision, using your eyes without them will do no further damage.
- “That’s enough reading for now; you’ll wear out your eyes.” Bookworms will recognize this one. This is one of the most common myths about vision. Much like reading in dim light, reading for an extended time or reading fine print can cause eye strain, it’s true, but there is no evidence that it will wear out or damage your eyes.
If you’ve always believed one or more of these myths, just realize that your mother probably heard some of this same advice from her own mother when she was a kid. But one myth that your mother likely didn’t teach you is that you need an eye exam only if you’re having problems. The truth is that regular eye exams are vitally important at all ages. Children should be tested at birth, at 6 months, before starting school, and throughout their school years as they grow. Adults should get an exam every two years or so – more often if there’s a concern. Regular eye exams are instrumental in early detection of common eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma that can cause vision loss, or even blindness, when left untreated. Our professionals at Takle Eye Group are proud to be entrusted with the vision of generations of local families. Please contact us with any questions, or to make an appointment. Mom would approve.