Cleared: 7 Myths About Eye Health

20/09/2015 1:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
© Brigitte Smith via Getty Images
A macro shot of a human eye.

The following myths about our eyes cause more harm and good. Now's the time to see the truth with crystal clear vision.

Myth 1: We should wash our eyes every day

Many people believe that eyes should be cleaned regularly, so they splash water in the eyes or rinse them with rose water. However, there is no need to do any of this. In fact, splashing water in the eyes may increase the risk of infections as the tap water may not be sterile.

Myth 2: Looking directly into sunlight strengthens the eyes

It is a known fact that looking at a solar eclipse can cause photo toxic damage to the retina, causing what is known as solar retinopathy. Your eyes can suffer similar damage if you stare at the sun directly for longer periods of time.

Myth 3: Wearing glasses constantly will fix or reduce your power

Glasses are prescribed for clarity of vision. Whether you wear your glasses full time or for a few hours in the day, if the number has to increase it will increase.

Myth 4: A child's squint doesn't need immediate treatment

Parents whose children have a squint feel that it is a cosmetic problem and needs to be tackled only at a later age. However, any child who develops a squint is at a risk of losing vision in one eye and developing a lazy eye. Lazy eye or amblyopia can be treated only until a child is eight years old or so. Therefore, a child with a squint must be examined and treated by the eye doctor as it's not only a cosmetic problem.

Myth 5: Eye exercises will reduce the spectacle number

The eye/spectacle number is the result of an increase in the axial length of the eyeball. No exercise can elongate or shorten the eyeball. Hence eye yoga or other exercises will not have any effect on your spectacle number.

Myth 6: A diabetic patient's eyes will be fine if the blood sugars are under control

The risk of damage to the eyes due to diabetes is not only related to the current levels of one's blood sugar. It is also associated with the duration of one's diabetic illness. Thus, even if your sugars are normal, you could be suffering from diabetic retinopathy which if not detected and treated in time can lead to irreversible blindness.

Myth 7: An eye transplant means transplanting the entire organ

When we talk of transplant refer only to the cornea of the donor's eye. The whole eye is never transplanted. So if there is a condition affecting the retina or the optic nerve, an eye transplant cannot be done.

Dr. Anis MB: Specialist in cataract surgery, lasik and refractive surgery and glaucoma from The Eye Associates Mumbai (TEAM)

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