Eye Care Mistakes: Five Things We Think We Know About Our Vision

Old wives tales and misinformation online can create a lot of confusion, especially concerning health care. When it comes to eye health, it’s important to know the facts so you can protect your vision.

Here are five common misconceptions about eye health:

Misconception #1: Unless I feel pain or notice changes in my vision, I don’t need an eye exam.

Most eye diseases, like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), have no early warning signs or symptoms. By the time a change in vision is noticed, the damage can be irreversible. Regardless of symptoms, regular eye exams are essential in protecting sight.

Misconception #2: Computer screens ruin your eye sight.

Spending long hours in front of a computer screen can cause eyes to feel tired and strained for a variety of reasons, including the tendency to blink less frequently. However, computer screens are not responsible for any permanent damage to vision.

Misconception #3: Kids Don’t Need Sunglasses.

No matter what age you are, UV rays can increase your risk for AMD and cataracts. Even the youngest eyes need to be protected from the sun. Make sure sunglasses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays and don’t forget to wear them on the slopes or during other outdoor winter sports. Wear a hat and seek shade, too, to protect eyes from UV damage.

Misconception #4: Vision loss is a normal part of aging.

Getting older does not mean that vision loss is inevitable. Most vision loss can be prevented, as long as you catch eye diseases early and take steps to protect your vision. Staying active, eating healthy foods, and practicing other healthy habits will help protect your vision as you age.

Misconception #5: I just got my eyes screened when I got new glasses or contacts, so I don’t need an eye exam.

Only a dilated eye exam allows an ophthalmologist to examine the entire eye and detect signs of eye disease. Even if you recently got a new prescription for glasses or contacts, you might still need a dilated eye exam.

Information courtesy of the American Academy of Ophthalmology