Are these eyesight beliefs true?


Contrary to popular belief, sitting too close to the screen does not damage your eyesight, but it might indicate you are shortsighted. — AFP

Sit back from the TV screen, you’ll damage your eyes!

Eat carrots, they’re good for your eyes!

Put on your glasses, or you’ll make your eyesight worse!

We’ve probably all heard at least one of these statements at some point in our lives, but are they really true?

In conjunction with World Sight Day (Oct 13), we asked ophthalmologist and French Society of Ophthalmology scientific director Dr Laurence Desjardins to help bust some of these common beliefs.

> Not wearing your glasses can aggravate certain eyesight problems, such as nearsightedness


Not wearing your glasses causes some discomfort for patients, who inevitably see less well, but it does not make the refractive error worse.

There is only one case where it can be troublesome, namely, in children with accommodative esotropia (a form of strabismus or misalignment of the eyes), who are far-sighted and need to wear glasses for their eyes to function normally.

Otherwise, they have an accommodation reflex that causes them to squint in convergent strabismus.

For children, not wearing their glasses can indeed have consequences, but this mainly affects the youngest – before the age of five or six.

In other cases, not wearing your glasses can cause visual fatigue or headaches at the end of the day, caused by the effects of effort, but the refraction disorder is not made worse.

> Sitting too close to the screen damages your eyes


This does not damage eyesight.

However, if a child who has not had their vision tested is looking at a screen very close-up, it may raise concerns that they are nearsighted.

> Eating carrots is good for your eyesight

True and false.

It’s not just carrots, but all fruit and vegetables that contain antioxidants are beneficial to the retina, including in preventing the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

All red berries and highly-pigmented vegetables are protective of the retina.

However, it should be noted that these are obviously very long-term benefits.

> Anti-blue light lenses do not combat eye fatigue


They do contribute to the fight against fatigue.

However, it is not necessarily the blue-light filter that combats eye fatigue, but the fact that the optical correction is optimal.

When patients work on a screen, the ophthalmologist looks precisely at the refraction and there is generally a small level of astigmatism or far-sightedness to correct.

We tend to make sure their vision is as effortless as possible by correcting these small defects; this reduces eye fatigue.

> Light-coloured eyes are more sensitive to light


Light-coloured eyes, especially blue and green, are more sensitive than brown eyes, for example, and are more likely to develop melanoma.

It is all the more important to protect them from UV (ultraviolet) rays and light.

Light irises filter UV rays less, so they are more sensitive than darker eyes. – AFP Relaxnews

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