Eye Myths

Dispelling "eye myths"
Well I'll start this today and will likely add to it later. It'll take me some time to think of them all lol

1) sitting too close to the tv is bad for your eyes/vision. NOPE. Not true. Only bad for your brain lol

2) eating carrots makes your vision better or will reduce your prescription. WRONG. Eating carrots only provides antioxidants which may or may not slow the progression of certain eye diseases (cataracts, macular degeneration). But eating carrots will never make anyone see better nor could it ever have any effect on their Rx

3) eye exercises will make your vision better and/or reduce your Rx. NO. True vision therapy is only for reducing symptoms of headache/eyestrain associated with convergence/accommodative disorders. No eye exercise will ever let you "throw your glasses away!", as they claim.

4) wearing glasses makes your vision better (or worse). NOT USUALLY. Most of the time for most people, wearing glasses is not therapeutic. Wearing them more or less won't have any effect on your long term vision. Won't make you better, won't make you worse. The lone exceptions are children with amblyopia or amblyogenic factors, and rarely latent hyperopes in emerging presbyopia.

5) a contact lens can get stuck "behind" your eye and have to be surgically removed. URBAN LEGEND. The "fornix" of the eye prevents anything from getting very far, and no lens can ever get "dark-side-of-the-moon". Thats impossible.

6) reading in low light is bad for your eyes. SORRY, NO. It was even said that John Milton, author of "Paradise Lost" actually "went blind" from reading by candlelight. Impossible. Reading in low light may be DIFFICULT, but it won't damage you any.

7) all contacts are the same. I hear this one all the time and it is hilarious to me. Contacts come in all different sizes, shapes, materials, water contents, stiffnesses and modalities. I even recently overheard a doctor (not an optometrist, thank goodness) tell some patient that they could wear their 2 week lenses as ANNUAL replacement b/c "they're really all the same". I "fix" a lot of contact lens problems at our large contact-lens-heavy practice, and I can tell you that all lenses are definitely NOT the same. The patients with contact lens associated problems will attest to that as well lol

8) the doctor "must" release my Rx if I demand it. Only if the Rx has been "finalized", and the Rx actually exists. What frequently happens is patients don't want to PAY for a "contact lens evaluation", so they just get a basic exam and pay the basic fee, which does include a glasses Rx, but not a contact lens Rx. There is more work and liability involved in fitting contacts, hence the extra fee. Then the patient calls to demand that we "release" their contact lens Rx. Well in that case, the contact lens Rx does not exist, so we don't have to "release" it.

9) if my eye is red, its "pink eye". Most adults do not get true viral, contagious "pink eye" very often, although the school nurse, the E.R., and primary care physicians everywhere certainly misdiagnose that often enough. Its really only "pink eye" when its VIRAL. Once a week some adult contact lens wearer will tell me they "keep getting pink eye" over and over again. WRONG. Those are most often contact lens related inflammatory or infectious processes, not "pink eye", no matter what the nurse or E.R. doc said.

10) if you cross your eyes too much they'll get stuck that way. IMPOSSIBLE. People who have permanently crossed eyes have a condition known as "strabismus", which has many causes. But one of them is not too much voluntary crossing.

11) I don't need a prescription for colored contacts if I don't need them to see. Sorry, UNTRUE. If you see them for sale at the flea market, it's illegal to buy them. Contact lenses are medical devices controlled by the FDA just like drugs are. Doesn't matter if they contain "power" or not. They still must be professionally fitted and you must have a valid Rx to purchase them.

12) ophthalmologists are the "real" eye specialists and optometrists just sell glasses. For the most part ophthalmologists are SURGEONS. That's it. Only go to an ophthalmologist if you need SURGERY. If not...every other eye problem on the planet is better managed by an optometrist (O.D.)

13) if I make the "wrong choice" during the eye exam, my glasses Rx may be wrong. Only at an ophthalmologist's office lol! Optometrists already know what your Rx is before they ask you any questions. The question-asking part is just to fine-tune.

14) I had my last eye exam from the nurse/DMV/DPS. No, you didn't. You had a bad attempt at an acuity measurement.


  1. 12- honestly, i really do believe that optometrists perform better comprehensive exams over ophthalmologists. I can't tell you how many times, I caught something that an ophthalmologist overlooked. I am an optometrist and my father was told by an ophthalmologist that he had dry eye symptoms when he was complaining of blur when looking at bright lights. Needless to say, I examined him that same day and found that he actually had posterior subcapsular cataracts in both eyes with an ERM in one of his eyes.

  2. you're preaching to the choir here! :D


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