Eye Care Myths
The eyes may be the mirrors of the soul but they’re also one of the most misunderstood parts of the body.
Food for the Eyes?
Some people believe poor eyesight can be corrected by following certain diets or taking vitamin supplements. This is true only if your problem is caused by a vitamin deficiency. Vitamin A, for instance, is needed for night vision. People who lack this vitamin – which is found in dark green leafy and yellow vegetables and fruits – can’t see well in dim light because of night blindness. This is a common problem in developing countries like the Philippines.
But gorging on carrots and other sources of vitamin A won’t spare you the trouble of wearing eyeglasses if you need them later. Rather than help you, too much vitamin A can cause blurred vision, itchy skin, loss of appetite, hair loss, joint pains and irregular menstruation.
Poor eyesight, which is helped by wearing eyeglasses, has nothing to do with nutrition. Only if you are short of vitamin A, then carrots would enable you to see better in dim light.
Will reading in dim light harm your eyes? Of course not! This is another myth that refuses to die.
Reading in the dark, in a moving car or in bed won’t damage your eyes. The worst you can expect is a headache or nausea. This comes from strained muscles which have to work harder since you’re reading in an awkward position.
All Red Eyes are Infections and wearing dark glasses prevent its transmission to others.
It has been our experience in our hospital that most red eyes are due to allergies. However transmitting infection does not take place by looking or staring at the red eyes, but by hand to eye spread.
It is good for the eyes to look directly at the sun. False. Ultra-violet light is harmful to your eyes, damaging the cornea, lens and retina. Also, never watch welding without wearing the proper protection. Never look directly at an eclipse.
You do not need to have your eyes checked until you are in your 40s or 50s.
There are several asymptomatic, yet treatable, eye diseases (most notably glaucoma) that can begin prior to your 40s.
Myth about cataract
Cataract can be prevented by taking drugs!
As per today’s scientific knowledge the cataract coming with age cannot be prevented by any drugs.
Cataract Surgery is Done with Lasers
Never. Lay men talk of the word ‘laser’ actually refers to the latest technique called phacoemulsification. No actual laser is used. The surgeries now are stitchless, very quick and with speedy recovery. Due to this short, stitch less procedure, cataract removal is often misnomered as a laser procedure.
A cataract must be ripe before it can be removed.
With modern cataract surgery, a cataract does not have to ripen before it is removed. When a cataract keeps you from doing the things you like or need to do, consider having it removed.
In fact the phaco surgery as well as the post- operative period is much easier for the patient and surgeon.
Common misconceptions cleared:
- Cataract is not a film over the surface of the eye
- It is not caused by overusing the eyes
- Not infectious [will not spread from one eye to the other], nor a cancer
- Not a cause of irreversible blindness
Surgery should be considered when the cataract causes enough visual disturbances to interfere with daily activities, such as job requirements, safe driving and household activities. Based on these needs and examination findings, the patient and the ophthalmologist should decide together when surgery is appropriate.
It is not true that cataracts need to be ‘ripe’ before they can be removed. In fact advances in the field of cataract surgery have made it easier to remove an immature cataract than a mature [‘ripe’] cataract.
Myth about glaucoma
Glaucoma can happen to you only if someone in the family has it.
False. Glaucoma though seen as a hereditary trait can also occur in sporadic cases, those on long term steroid use
It cannot be cured by a special diet. This disorder is characterized by increased pressure in the eyeball and can lead to blindness. One important thing to remember is not to drink a lot of fluids in one go if you have Glaucoma
Glaucoma is blinding in all cases!
In modern ophthalmology glaucomas are nearly always prevented from losing vision by using the appropriate drugs or surgery and regular follow ups with eye care professionals. Hence a regular eye examination is a must.
Myth about diabetes
Diabetic patients do not need an eye checkup till they have visual symptoms !
Diabetic patients must have an annual eye checkup. This can help detect early involvement of the eyes. At that stage a rigorous control of diabetes and preventive actions such as laser photocoagulation of the retina might help to prevent severe visual loss later.
Myth about squint
Squint in a child should wait till they grow up.
Generally speaking squints in children should be corrected before age 9 years. This is because later though a cosmetic treatment may be possible, the child after 9 years of age will continue to have a poorly developed vision from lazy eyes due to squint.
Children do not need eye examinations until they are in school”
False. It is recommended that every child’s eyes be examined regularly starting at birth. Some eye problems such as crossed eyes or amblyopia (lazy eye) can result in permanent loss of sight in the affected eye if not detected and treated before the child is five or six years old.
LASIK is harmful. The spectacle number comes back. LASIK is not fit for Indian eyes.
These Spectacle Lenses are Scratch-Proof
No lens yet developed is truly scratch-proof. There is always some material which can scratch a lens. A diamond can be scratched by another diamond. Lenses instead should be termed scratch-resistant. A plastic lens with a scratch-resistant lens is more durable than a lens without the coating. Glass to this date remains the most scratch-resistant material – more durable than plastic with a scratch-resistant coating.
On Contact Lens
|Wearing poorly fit contacts does not harm your eyes. It’s okay to swim while wearing soft contact lenses.Poorly fit contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea (The first transparent layer in the front of your eye). Make certain your eyes are checked regularly by your eye doctor if you wear contact lenses. Potentially blinding eye infections can result from swimming or using a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.|