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It is important to separate fact from fiction, especially when discussing your eyesight. Knowing how to take good care of your eyes is the first step in pro

tecting your sight. Don’t be blind to the facts – here are some common myths about vision, along with the true facts.

 

Myth: Reading in the dark will harm your eyes.

Mothers – this is false. While it can certainly be uncomfortable to read in the dark, it does not harm the eyes in any way. The back layer of the eye (retina) contains special cells called rods which specialize in scotopic (dark) vision.

 

Myth: Wearing glasses makes your vision worse.

Some of my patients swear about this. This is also false. One group that complain about this are parents who see their nearsighted (myopic) kids’ prescriptions getting higher frequently. These kids’ prescription would have gotten higher even without wearing glasses. Risk factors for developing a high level of myopia include family history and spending a lot of time reading. There are now some effective treatments to try to slow down myopia progression. This will be the topic of a future article.

Another group that claims that glasses makes their eyes worse are people who have hit their 40s and have started to wear reading glasses. This stage is known as presbyopia which translates to “old vision.” Sorry, 40+-year-olds: I didn’t make this up. Our eyes have lenses inside of them which are able to automatically focus on near objects when we are young. This process starts to break down in when we are in our 40s and gets gradually worse until our mid-60s. This is why the number of the reading prescription (the reading ADD) gets gradually stronger during these years. A lot of people tend to push off getting the proper reading prescription and struggle with being able to read clearly.

 

Myth: Not wearing glasses makes your vision worse.

This is mostly false. By not wearing your correct prescription, you are not seeing the best possible. However, especially in kids, there are sometimes that glasses are necessary to improve vision. Sometimes, glasses are used as a treatment for a type of lazy eye (refractive amblyopia) where one or both eyes are not developing well because they are seeing blurry. Glasses are also necessary to treat a fairly common condition called accommodative esotropia, where the eyes turn in due to a high level of farsightedness.

 

Myth: You only need to get your eyes checked if you are having problems.

This is false because there are serious conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, where there are usually no symptoms until the later stages of the diseases. When these conditions are caught early, that usually has the best outcome. For children, an eye examination is necessary to diagnose lazy eye which can go undetected when it affects only one eye. 


David Wasserlauf OD runs a full scope optometric practice in nearby Bayside. Come by and meet him and optician Eli Khaimov for excellent care and service. He accepts most insurances, offers same day appointments, has minimal wait times, and there is free parking.