Harvard doctor busts 5 myths; shares advice on protecting vision – Times Now
February 21, 2022
Health matters: Caring for your eyes is essential  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
The eyes have been the focus of poems, novels, and are the first thing you notice about a person’s face.
Without healthy eyes, it would be difficult to appreciate the goodness of the world we live in.
But are we taking proper care of our eyes?
We all wish to grow old with our cognitive skills intact and the capacity to move and see retained in full glory. All five senses matter, but isn’t vision the one you are most afraid of losing?
Famous poetess Sylvia Plath wrote: “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.”
It’s no wonder that there are so many myths and misconceptions when it comes to your eye health, what can damage our eyes, what can protect them, etc. that we need some renowned authority on the topic to debunk them. Here is what medical experts at Harvard say to smash five common myths — and tell you how to truly keep your eyes healthy.
Myth: Eye exercises are a cure-all, can help me discard the need for specks/glasses. Fact: Eye exercises cannot help you get rid of reading glasses because your vision depends on many factors, including the shape of your eyeball and the health of the eye tissues. Eye exercises cannot alter the shape of the eyeball or the health of the eye tissue significantly. That is why it is futile to hope that doing eye exercises will improve or preserve vision, help your eye health, or reduce the need for glasses.
Myth: Reading in dim lights will ruin my eyes. Fact: Not true. Neither your eyesight nor your eye health will be ruined by reading in dim light. But doing so can potentially tire your eyes out more quickly. Involve the guidance of an ergonomics expert before fixing the position of the reading lamp. The best way to position a reading light is to have it shine directly onto the page, not over your shoulder. A desk lamp with an opaque shade pointing directly at the reading material is ideal. It helps to have a tilt or incline capability added to the socket that holds the bulb.
Myth: If I eat carrots, my eyes will always be healthy. Fact: You need to eat all the colours of the rainbow that nature’s basket offers in fruits and vegetables – to be able to draw the full benefit of nutrition that aids eye health. Carrots, which contain vitamin A, are indeed good for the eyes. But fresh fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, which contain more antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, are even better for eye health. Studies show that cataracts and age-related macular degeneration can be delayed by eating foods that have lots of antioxidants – a known antiageing factor. Nutrition through food cannot prevent or correct basic vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, though.
Myth: No need to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time, eyes need rest. Fact: True that not wearing your glasses regularly will not worsen your vision or lead to eye disease. But consider this – if you need glasses or contacts for distance or reading, then not wearing them will strain your eyes and tire them out instead of resting them. The inconvenience of not being able to see something or someone will add to your frustration and drive down your feeling of well-being.
Myth: Staring at a computer screen all day is bad for the eyes. Fact: Staring continuously at a computer screen can bring about a break in the automatic blinking that you normally do and thus keep your eyes moist. Using a computer does not damage your eye health but can contribute to eyestrain or tired eyes.
Things you can do:
Use the 20/20/20 Rule. Your eyes aren’t designed to stare all day at something directly in front of you. Rest your eyes briefly every 20 minutes, look away and focus at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Ensure that your room is well lit
Adjust the glare on the digital screen. To help prevent eyestrain, adjust the lighting so it doesn’t create a glare or harsh reflection on the screen.
Use blue-light cutter glasses while working, avoid working on digital screens at least 2 hours before sleep time.
Have regular eye examination appointments with your ophthalmologist.
Keep a sensible distance between screen and eyes.
Make a conscious effort to blink regularly so that your eyes stay well lubricated.. People who stare at a computer screen for long periods tend not to blink as often as usual, which can cause the eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
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