For the majority of people around the world, the ability to see makes an impact on their lives during virtually every waking moment. While other health concerns might go unnoticed, evidence of deteriorating vision can often be literally right in front of your eyes. Since vision is so much a part of our everyday human experience, it is not surprising that so many different myths have grown up around it. At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we believe that education is often the best way to help our patients maintain healthy, clear vision, so here are helpful facts to dispel some of the more common myths about vision and the eyes.
Using a Nightlight in Your Child’s Room Will Make Them Nearsighted.
FALSE: Long believed to be a useful bit of precautionary parenting advice, there is actually no scientific evidence supporting this claim. Refractive errors like nearsightedness, or myopia, are caused by imperfections in the shape of the eye itself, and not by external factors like ambient light. In fact, some have suggested that keeping a nightlight on in an infant’s room may actually help them learn to focus and develop important eye coordination skills when they are awake.
If You Cross Your Eyes, They Will Stay That Way.
FALSE: Contrary to the old saying, eyes will not stay that way if you cross them. Eye muscles allow the eyes to move in many different directions, but will not “freeze” from being forced into a particular position. Crossed eyes, a condition called strabismus, are the result of disease, an uncorrected refractive error, or muscle and nerve damage and should be treated by a board certified ophthalmologist.
Only Boys Can Be Color-Blind.
FALSE: It is estimated that up to 8% of boys have some degree of color blindness, however a small percentage (less than 1%) of women exhibit this trait as well. The various forms of color blindness are most commonly genetic, but eye problems, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy, traumatic injury to the eye, and even the side effects of some medicines can all produce similar symptoms.
The Eye is Full-Sized at Birth.
FALSE: Although the eyes of a newborn are larger in proportion to their skulls than those of an adult, they do continue to grow with the child. Because of this growth, children who need eyeglasses often find their prescriptions changing several times as they mature. Moreover, it is one reason why LASIK surgery to correct refractive errors should not be performed until the eye has reached its full size.
If you have any other questions about laser cataract surgery, or would like to schedule an eye exam, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons today to make an appointment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on how to keep your vision healthy.