Eye Care – Myths and Facts

1MythReading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.
FactAlthough reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired, it is not harmful.
2MythIt is not harmful to watch a welder or look at the sun if you squint, or look through narrowed eyelids.
FactEven if you squint, ultra-violet light still gets to your eyes, damaging the cornea, lens and retina. Never watch welding without wearing the proper protection. Never look directly at an eclipse.
3MythUsing a computer, or video display terminal (VDT), is harmful to the eyes.
FactAlthough using a VDT is associated with eyestrain or fatigue, it is not harmful to the eyes.
4MythIf you use your eyes too much, you wear them out.
FactYou can use your eyes as much as you wish-they do not wear out.
5MythWearing poorly fit glasses damages your eyes.
FactAlthough a good glasses fit is required for good vision, a poor fit does not damage your eyes.
6MythWearing poorly fit contacts does not harm your eyes.
FactPoorly fit contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea (the window at the front of your eye). Make certain your eyes are checked regularly by your eye doctor if you wear contact lenses.
7MythYou do not need to have your eyes checked until you are in your 40s or 50s.
FactThere are several asymptomatic, yet treatable, eye diseases (most notably glaucoma) that can begin prior to your 40s.
8MythSafety goggles are more trouble than they’re worth.
FactSafety goggles prevent many potentially blinding injuries every year. Keep goggles handy and use them!
9MythIt’s okay to swim while wearing soft contact lenses.
FactPotentially blinding eye infections can result from swimming or using a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.
10MythChildren outgrow crossed eyes.
FactChildren do not outgrow truly crossed eyes. A child whose eyes are misaligned has strabismus and can develop poor vision in one eye (a
condition known as amblyopia) because the brain turns off the misaligned or “lazy” eye. The sooner crossed or misaligned eyes are treated, the less likely the child will have permanently impaired vision.
11MythA cataract must be ripe before it can be removed.
FactWith 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.
12MythCataracts can be removed with lasers.
FactCataracts cannot be removed with a laser. The cloudy lens must be removed through a surgical incision. However, after cataract surgery, a membrane within the eye may become cloudy. This membrane can be opened with laser surgery.
13MythEyes can be transplanted.
FactThe eye cannot be transplanted. It is connected to the brain by the optic nerve, which cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. The cornea-the clear front part of the eye-can be transplanted. Surgeons often use plastic intraocular lens implants (IOL’s) to replace natural lenses removed during cataract surgery.
14MythAll eye care providers are the same.
Fact– An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), uniquely trained to diagnose and treat all disorders of the eye, and is qualified to perform surgery, prescribe and adjust eyeglasses and contact lenses, and prescribe medication.

– An optometrist (O.D.) is an eye doctor who specializes in the medical care of the eye, and can diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and surrounding tissue by prescribing medication, glasses or contact lenses.

– An optician fits, supplies, and adjusts eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optician cannot examine the eyes or prescribe eyeglasses or medication.

This educational material is provided by Dialog Medical.
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