Table of Contents
For as long as you can remember you’ve been hearing that carrots are good for your eyes and sitting too close to the TV will make your vision worse.
Or that your baby only has two choices for eye color based on mom or dads. The list could go on and on. There are so many myths and tales about our eyes and vision. It’s hard to know what to believe anymore.
Below I’ll break down five common myths about your eyes and vision.
1) Carrots will improve your vision
Go ahead, eat that whole bag of carrots. Unfortunately, it will not improve your vision. This myth likely started with moms trying to get their kids to eat more vegetables.
The main nutrient in carrots that does play a role in your eye health is Vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for your overall eye health and it is important – it just doesn’t improve your vision.
Vitamin A plays a role in making sure the retina is healthy. The retina lines the inside of your eye and allows you to see. Too little Vitamin A can lead to trouble seeing at night.1
Don’t get confused here…eating more carrots will not help you see better at night.
Vitamin A also helps to make sure the outside of your eye, the cornea is lubricated well.1
In the nutshell, carrots and Vitamin A are important for overall eye health. They don’t improve your vision.
Interested in learning more about nutrition, check out our nutrition section!
2) Sitting too close to the TV will make your vision worse
This one continues through generations and generations. Mom’s are the likely culprit again. Trust me, I know. I’ve already told my husband to not put our daughter too close to the tv.
And I know it’s a myth!
Who knows how or why this started, but we can guess that people who did suffer from vision impairments needed to sit closer to the tv – so they could actually see it. People who are nearsighted cannot see far in the distance, so they likely moved closer to the TV.
Mom’s the one who said, “move back, it’ll hurt your eyes.” Sitting close to the tv doesn’t hurt your eyes. After a while, it may cause eye strain or headaches but it doesn’t actually harm your eye health or vision.2
There is not much science behind this one. Go tell your mom you know the truth!
3) Your baby will either have mom or dad’s eye color
When you see a cute little baby it’s hard not to notice the similarities between mom and dad, especially eye color. It’s often thought babies will either get mom or dad’s color and this is another myth.
The colored portion of your eye is called the iris, and everyone has their own unique eye color. It’s similar to fingerprints – no two are the same.
Science has shown us that multiple genes are contributing to eye color3. It was once thought that if both parents had blue eyes, then it’s likely their child will also have blue eyes, but this is not the case. The child could have green eyes, for example.
It is true that darker eyes tend to be more dominant. This means both parents with brown eyes are more likely to have a child with brown eyes. But if one parent has brown and the other has green, it’s possible for the child to have green eyes. Brown doesn’t always dominate.
A few fun facts about eye color according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
- Brown eyes are the most common in the world
- Green eyes are the rarest
- It’s possible to have two different colored irises (heterochromia)
4) Smoking marijuana improves glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition involving the optic nerve and what most people know as – having elevated eye pressure. Remember that machine that blew a puff of air at your eyes and always made you jump? Luckily, technology has progressed and most optometrists’ offices don’t use that device anymore, but it was to check your eye pressure.
Marijuana has been in the news a lot more in recent years. Considering a lot of states have decriminalized or made it legal, people are finally feeling more comfortable asking the question, “Does smoking marijuana lower my eye pressure or treat my glaucoma? “
The answer is yes. But according to one study, therapeutic benefits only lasted 3-4 hours4. To maintain a low intraocular eye pressure would mean you would have to consume marijuana on a regular and quite heavy basis.
There are multiple risks associated with this, the most concerning is Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)4. Everything in medicine is always a risk versus benefits game, and in this case, the risks do not outweigh the benefits
There are many topical drops to treat glaucoma and laser treatments. They are backed by science and numerous studies, so doctors know they work. This is not the case for marijuana.
Discuss with your optometrist today what really works to treat your glaucoma.
5) You can have an eye transplant
I’m not sure how many times I saw a vision-threatening eye disease or trauma in a patient and the patient asked, “can’t I just get an eye transplant?” It seems like an appropriate question with all the technological advancements in medicine. I mean, you’ve got people walking around with parts of pig hearts, so why not an eye?
The answer, unfortunately, is a hard no.
Our eyes are connected to the optic nerve. Think of the optic nerve as one of the most important electrical cords in your body. This electrical cord, the optic nerve, is connected to your brain using over a million nerve fibers.
Yes, over a million.
Even in 2020, it’s currently impossible to cut and reconnect over a million nerve fibers. Sometimes, people get confused and swear they hear that people have an eye transplant.
Oftentimes, this is the cornea, the outer portion of the eye. A cornea transplant is when a doctor removes damaged or disease corneal tissues and replaces it with healthy donor tissue.
A cornea transplant is possible but an eye transplant is not.
Now you know
Five myths were broken down for you, and now you know the truth. There are tons more myths out there. Talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist if you want the real answers on certain eye myths or what can be confusing when it comes to eye diseases and treatments.
Your eye care professionals are there to keep your vision and eye health in the best condition possible!
Author bio: Lauren Whaley is a COA and medical copywriter specializing in eye care with over six years of experience in ophthalmology. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelors’s degree in Biomedical Science. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.