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Myths and Facts about your Vision
By Francisco Renick, M.D.

Most of us try to take care of our health as much as we can…but which of us truly takes care of his/her eyes every day, regularly visiting the ophthalmologist once per year and following his instructions to the letter?

First things first. Let’s start with smoking. But what does this have to do with my sight? you must be wondering. Smoking does not bring any benefits and, on the contrary, it contains 4,027 chemical substances, out of which 200 are poisonous and 60 are carcinogenic. In addition, it increases the risk of eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration. On the other hand, a well-balanced diet will provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy eye.

In addition, sunglasses, hats and baseball caps protect our eyes from damage caused by the sun’s harmful rays so it is best that you use them whenever possible.

There are many myths regarding the eyes. Let’s clarify some of them:
• Will eye exercises delay the need for glasses? False, these exercises will not improve or preserve vision nor will they reduce the need for glasses. Vision depends on several factors, such as the shape of the eye and the health of the eye tissues.
• Will reading in low light affect or worsen my vision? Not directly, but it will certainly affect you by tiring your eyes out more quickly, making you feel fatigued.
• Is eating carrots good for your eyesight? Yes, since it contains Vitamin A. However, is there something better? All fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, since they are rich in Vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants.
• Is it better to take a break and not use glasses and/or contact lenses all the time? They will not worsen your vision or cause any eye disease. Therefore, if you need to, use them since not doing so will strain your eyes and tire them, and you, out.
• Is staring at the computer screen all day bad for your eyes? Although it will not harm your eyes, it will certainly contribute to tired and strained eyes. Remember that adequate lighting and blinking regularly will help (it has been proved that when people stare at the computer screen for long periods of time they tend to blink less often, causing eye dryness and itching).
• Do expensive and low-priced glasses provide the same benefits? Definitely NOT. The price of the lens depends on its solar filter’s quality, since it is the one that blocks the UV rays and eliminates the glare. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that you purchase a lens that offers 99-100% UV protection. Therefore, when looking for our favorite design we must not forget about this!
• Is it true that people with light colored eyes are more vulnerable to sunlight? Yes, since they have less melanin (the substance that gives eyes their color), which protects the eyes from the macular damage caused by the sun’s rays.

Let’s take care of our vision and let’s not take it for granted or believe that we will have it for all our life. Our eyes are priceless, they allow us to see beautiful things and interact with the world and therefore we must treat them with care and respect.

We will be happy to answer your health-related questions, please send them to: [email protected]

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