Do you know enough to separate fact from fiction when it involves information about your eyes? Unfortunately, unproven medical and scientific claims are often made and do more harm than good. Here are ten common eye care myths that we have debunked to put your mind at ease:

Myth #1 It’s perfectly safe to go swimming in soft contact lenses

You might assume that it’s worth the risk of swimming with your contact lenses, but opening your eyes underwater may result in a very dangerous infection. While soft contact lenses are more likely to remain on your eye when swimming, they are porous and can absorb bacteria, increasing the risk of eye irritation.

Myth #2 Looking at a computer screen can damage your eyes

If you use a computer often, know that it will not harm your eyes; however, not taking breaks can contribute to eyestrain, tired eyes or dry eyes. Tip: Rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking up or across the room. Blink regularly to keep your eyes well lubricated and use artificial tears to promote moisture.

Myth #3 A cataract must be ‘ripe’ before surgery

Thanks to modern advances in cataract surgery, the lens can now be removed from the eye as soon as it’s cloudy enough to make reading fine print difficult. A cataract can be removed as soon as it begins to compromise your vision.

Myth #4 When you age, prepare to lose your vision

Vision problems that develop as people age advances can be treated. It is crucial to have eye testsevery year at your local eye clinic to catch both reversible and permanent threats to vision, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Presbyopia (near-vision loss) and cataracts can both be remedied to allow adults to see clearly again.

Myth #5 Eating carrots will improve your vision

Eating carrots for better vision is a famous myth that originates from World War II. While the war was taking place, the British Royal Air Force developed radar technology that helped pilots shoot German enemy planes at night. The government reported that the pilots’ success was due to the tremendous amount of carrots in their diet to keep the strategy a secret!  Vitamin A is abundant in carrots, but the body only needs a small amount of it for vision and can be obtained through many sources such as leafy greens, vegetables, dairy and fish.

Myth #6 Eye exercises improve your vision

In the 1920s, an ophthalmologist named William Bates created an eye-exercising program known as the Bates Method. However, it has never been proven effective. Eye exercises do not reduce the need for glasses, preserve or improve vision. Vision depends on various factors, none of which can be significantly altered with eye exercises.

Myth #7 Looking directly at the sun improves your health and well-being

Staring at the sun without wearing proper eye protection can damage your retina permanently and even cause blindness. The only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard.

Myth #8 Avoid crossing your eyes

While the muscles in your eyes can get tired if you cross them for a long period, medical studies have disproven suggestions they will get ‘stuck’.

Myth #9 Colour-blind people only see in black and white

A vast majority of people with colour blindness can see colour, but they see a much narrower range of colour. Estimations suggest that a person with normal colour vision can see up to 1 million distinct shades of colour, but a person who is colour blind may see as few as just 10 thousand colours (1% of the normal range).

Myth #10 Brown-eyed parents can’t have a blue-eyed child

You can’t predict a child’s eye colour from their parents’ eye colours. Current research suggests that as many as 16 different genes could be responsible for eye colour, which supports the fact that brown-eyed parents can have a blue-eyed child.

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