4 Misconceptions about your eye health

There’s an abundance of ideas and misconceptions about vision and keeping your eyes healthy out there. At best, they’re funny and harmless, like if you cross your eyes for too long they’ll stay that way. At worst, they can be damaging to your health.

The big problem is, because there are so many, it can be difficult to know which are fact and which are fiction. To know what’s fake news and what’s legitimate, and ultimately how you can best look after your eyes.

Here, we’re going to take on four common misconceptions about eye health to help you see the truth. Eye problems and poor vision are a reality, but they don’t have to take over your life.

1. Poor vision is just an eye problem

If you have poor vision, it quickly becomes your new normal. One day, texts appear blurry or you realise while driving at night you’re seeing glare around lights. The next, you start wearing glasses, the problem is solved, and your life seemingly goes back to normal.

However, contrary to how they may seem, vision problems don’t just affect what we see. They also impact everything from our ability to learn, understand, and focus to our ability to work, navigate, and generally exist in the world.

The interconnected nature of the visual system means that if it is weak or starts to falter, then it can’t help but affect other parts of the body. One of the ways this can happen is with increased eye strain and other muscular compensation that can lead to headaches and neck/shoulder pain.

Your ocular health is not separate from your general health. And so, if you neglect your eyes, you neglect other parts of your body. In the same way, if you look after your eyes, you look after your whole body.

2. The sun is bad for your eyes

The abundance of research around UV rays and their negative effects on eye health can lead to an unintended consequence: believing the sun is bad for your eyes and consequently getting too little sun exposure.

Whereas it is indisputable that UV rays in excess are damaging to the eyes, light from the sun, when received in moderation, can be beneficial to your long-term eye health.

Initially, the sun’s benefit to the eyes was noticed due to vision improvements after spending more time in the great outdoors—i.e. vast, open spaces where the eye can gaze out over the horizon and relax. However, researchers are now proposing another mechanism: that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina, and this neurotransmitter, in turn, promotes healthy vision and eye development.

Getting more sun can be trickier to put into practice than it sounds. In some places, people cannot get much outdoor light as there are too few hours of daylight, the sun is too fierce, or the cold is too intense. Not to mention, changing work habits and an abundance of distractions keep many of us glued to screens within enclosed and artificially-lit indoor spaces.

But even if you can get for a few hours on an overcast day, it can be enough to benefit your vision. Simply observe the effects it has on your eyes and you won’t struggle to find the time again. Do remember to always wear 100% UV ray protection sunglasses though when in direct sunlight on those bright days.

3. Vision impairments are bad or divine punishments

Depending on your religion or philosophy of life, suffering from poor vision may be considered as anything from a divine punishment to a clue that reveals your age. 

Such beliefs prevent many people around the world from seeking out treatment and consequently improving their vision. In some communities, ailments such as vision loss can be seen as a curse or a punishment from the gods that is to be endured, with the cure or solution being out of their hands.

Some may pray in an attempt to rid themselves of the condition, whilst some may stock up on vitamins and try herbal concoctions.

The result is often people don’t seek out proper medical treatment until it is too late. The sooner an eye condition or visual problem is detected, the sooner it can be treated/corrected and the greater the chance of retaining your vision.

4. You can’t prevent or delay common eye conditions

There are several conditions that affect the quality of your vision as you age.

Glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and presbyopia affect millions of people around the world. Between them, they can cause everything from a slight clouding of the eye with zero visual symptoms to complete loss of vision.

It has long been thought that such conditions are unavoidable parts of getting older. However, today, new research is showing how our lifestyles and environments can impact our vision and new treatments are proving they can turn back the clock.

For instance, prolonged use of screens and time spent indoors can cause digital eye strain. Spending more time outdoors and exposing your eyes to natural light (within reason) and eating a balanced diet can all improve your chances of having great vision for as long as possible.

In terms of treatments, cataract surgery is now the most commonly performed procedure in the world, while PRESBYOND Laser Blended Vision is helping rid thousands of people of the effects of presbyopia and helping them retain youthful vision without reading glasses.

To find out if you’re eligible for a revolutionary laser eye treatment like PRESBYOND, leave us a comment or get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today.

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4 Misconceptions about your eye health