Debunked: 8 Vision & Reading Glasses Myths

Are these common vision and reading glasses statements fact or fiction? Test your glasses genius and read on for a full explanation of each below:

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Common Myths About Your Vision


1. Your vision will get worse over time by wearing reading glasses: FALSE
Glasses are simply an aid to improve vision, and they will not cause your eyesight to grow worse. As we get older, it becomes harder and harder to see up-close. If you begin to need stronger reading powers as the years go on, don’t fret. The glasses themselves have not made your eyes worse!

2. If you wear glasses, not wearing them will cause your vision to deteriorate faster: FALSE
If you wear reading glasses, the side effects of not wearing them could include blurriness and distortion. Trying to focus without glasses will not make your vision deteriorate faster, though it could lead to squinting and eyestrain. The primary effects of not wearing your glasses is temporary and, at most, can cause discomfort.

3. Over-the-counter readers can hurt your eyes: FALSE
First thing first–using over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses from a pharmacy or online retailer (versus readers from your optometrist), will not hurt your eyes. OTC reading glasses contain magnifying lenses in different powers that work just as well.

Before buying reading glasses from a pharmacy or online retailer, you’ll want to know the reading power you need. Not sure? Follow this guide to determine your magnification. Wearing non-prescription reading glasses that are either too weak or too strong for your eyes could be bothersome, but it will not cause long-term damage to your vision. For more pros and cons of buying glasses in-store, online, or at the eye doctor, click here.

4. Wearing reading glasses makes your eyes stronger: FALSE
Wearing reading glasses makes your vision clearer, but it does not have an impact on your prescription. Don’t be confused if you hear reading glasses magnifications referred to as “strengths”–this does not mean it’ll make your eyes stronger over time. Bottom line: You won’t cure bad vision by wearing glasses every day.

5. Sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes: FALSE
This rumor hasn’t been true since before the ’60s when television sets emitted mild levels of radiation. Nowadays, TVs have proper shielding so radiation is no longer an issue. Sitting in front of the TV for too long could cause you to experience discomfort, like eyestrain, irritation, or watery or dry eyes. If you find yourself in front of digital devices for extended periods of time, consider a pair of computer glasses (read more about their benefits here).

6. Eating carrots is one way to improve eyesight: FALSE
Eating carrots won’t help someone with already poor eyesight regain clear vision. But, carrots are jam-packed with nutrients known to help protect your eyes, such as vitamin A. Vitamin A is known to play a roll in reducing the impact of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

7. If you see fine, you do not need regular eye exams: FALSE
If you’ve been cruising through life with 20/20 vision, that’s great! However, many eye and vision problems do not have symptoms, so it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist to make sure they stay healthy as you age.

When you visit the eye doctor, your optometrist is scanning for much more than just vision problems. Through many comprehensive eye exams, health conditions such as tumors and diabetes can be detected before physical symptoms are present.

8. Reading in dim light will worsen your eyesight: FALSE
You won’t go blind from reading in the dark, but it will make it harder to see what you’re reading. In low light, your eyes are doing two things: relaxing to collect as much light as possible and contracting to focus on what you’re reading. Your eyes can become strained and tired, resulting in sore, dry, or watery eyes, as well as headaches. While reading in the dark might be bothersome, these symptoms are temporary and will not cause long-term damage to your eyesight.

Looking for more? Get an eyeful with these eye doctor myths!

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*Please consult your eye doctor before making decision about your eye health. This resource is strictly educational. Click here for our disclaimer.