What scary thing is a cylinder and how much carrot does one have to eat to correct the eyesight? There are a lot of myths going around about wearing glasses that often confuse people. We asked Anna, our super experienced optometrist at VIUU to help us beat and explain these 8 widespread myths.

1.Regular wearing of glasses worsens the eyesight.

Not true. Tools that correct the eyesight don’t make it worse but on the contrary, glasses are an instrument especially invented to improve the eyesight. Although sometimes when you get new prescription glasses it may seem, that you need to wear them more and more it doesn’t mean that you are becoming addicted to glasses, but rather that you are getting use to seeing more clearly.

2.Eye exercises help you get rid of wearing glasses

The fact that eye exercises help you get rid of glasses hasn’t been scientifically proven yet. The need to wear prescription glasses depends on the anatomy of the eye, the age of the person and genetics. For sure the eye exercises let your eyes rest, especially when you are tiring them with close work, but to change the anatomy of the eye with some exercises isn’t possible.  However you can still help your eyes. For example when working with a computer, it is very important to make enough pauses so your eyes could rest, at least 10-15 min after every hour. During this time you can do different eye exercises to restore the moisture levels and mobility of your eyes.   

3.Eating carrots and blueberries restores your eyesight and helps to get rid of wearing glasses.

Healthy eating habits influence the whole body, including the eyes, but it doesn’t help getting rid of wearing glasses. However, blueberries and carrots are still very beneficial to your eyes. Blueberries contain vitamins and antioxidants like selenium, zinc and vitamin C that protect the retina and improve the blood circulation of the eyes avoiding the damages caused by the free radicals. In addition, blueberries can improve the vision in the dark. Carrots on the other hand contain a lot of vitamin A that is a vital nutrient to the eyes. Other berries and vegetables are beneficial too, for example in reducing the macular degeneration.

4.Reading glasses are only for old people.

This is not true. Reading glasses can also be prescribed to children and young adults. Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia occurs when the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short. The light entering the eye can’t break enough and the focal point appears behind the retina, not infront as it should. Farsightedness is not a disease but an anatomical  peculiarity.

All the children are born with farsightedness but only some stay like this and need reading glasses as a result. If your kid complains about constant headache, pain or discomfort in the eyes, doesn’t want to read, draw or play games that need near sight then you should definitely visit the eye doctor. We also recommend to check the eyes more thoroughly starting from the age of three and definitely before starting school for the first time.

5.Watching TV or computer screen too much can give you glasses.

This is not true. The blueish radiation coming from the computer-, TV- and phone screens does damage our eyes in the long run, but doesn’t change the shape of the eye lens so you would need prescription glasses. However you should still reduce the screen time both, because of the harmful radiation and the danger of dry eye.

6.Nearsightedness is a disease.

This is not true. Nearsightedness is not a disease but a peculiarity in the construction of the eye.
Myopia, also know as nearsightedness is a visual impairment of the eye in which the light beams are sharpened infront of the retina. This can be caused by the anomaly in the built of the cornea, the eye itself or it can also be an anatomic peculiarity. As the eyes are in a constant development through all childhood the myopia can also progress. The deterioration of the eyesight starts during the school age and lasts until the age of 20.

Some more reasons for the progression of myopia:

* In poor light conditions a noticeable deterioration in far sight can occur. This is not a disease but a physical phenomenon.
* Pseudomyopia is a condition where the eyes can’t focus on long distances anymore. It is caused by extreme tension in the eyes often caused by too much close work like sitting in the computer for too long. Normal eyesight will restore after the eyes have gotten some rest.

7.Cylinder is some special disease.

Astigmatism, also called the refractive error and the “cylinder” for the ordinary people is an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea. When the normal cornea is evenly round, with astigmatism it is a bit more stretched on the sides.
Normally astigmatism is inheritable and occurs since birth staying the same all your life, but it can also change during a long period of time. Astigmatism can also be caused by injuries in the eye which results in the scarring of the cornea, but also a certain type of eye operations and diseases.
However, it is not a disease and when a cylinder is discovered you don’t have to be afraid. All the optical and contact lenses today allow a correction of the cylinder and it is always written on your prescription. 

8.Dark lenses protect the eyes against the UV radiation.

It is often misbelieved that the darker the lens, the more it protects the eyes. Unfortunately it is not true. If we are talking about random sunglasses bought from some supermarket, then usually these kind of lenses don’t include the protective layer against UV radiation.
The protection is given by different chemical processes which attach the protective layer on the surface of the lens. The tone of the lens can block the light but solely this isn’t enough.

One should be very careful while using the sunglasses that aren’t bought from the sports or optics shop and don’t have an explanatory info tag about the protecting factor and manufacturer on them. The dark lens allows the eye to be more open in the sun, letting in more light. If the lens doesn’t include an anti UV layer it damages the eye even more than walking around without any sunglasses.

Sunglasses bought from a certified optics shop have depending on the manufacturer: an anti reflective layer on both sides of the lens, protection against the UV radiation and other surface treatments that make wearing glasses more enjoyable. Different shades and levels of toning block light differently. With a protective layer of surface treatment the darker shades block the light better than the lighter ones making it more comfortable for the eyes to see, but it doesn’t really influence the protection against the UV radiation.

If one of these eight myths have kept you awake at night then now you can rest your heart. Set your steps towards VIUU and come pick out a new pair of funky eyewear, just because you can!

See VIUU’s selection of eyewear HERE and come try some on at VIUUshop, Telliskivi 60!

Cover photo: Audrey Hepburn by Terry O’Neill