Think back to your childhood. Did an adult repeatedly tell you to scoot back and not sit so close to the TV? Did someone also convince you to finish your carrots so you could see in the dark? We’re guessing that within your memories you’ll remember receiving some of these warnings. Over the years, many of us can recount our fair share of stories. In many cases, the story told was so convincing it was easy to consider its truth. Typically, the answer lies somewhere in between the truth and a myth. Often it’s not that the story is totally incorrect. Instead, the tale contains an inkling of truth. When a new generation arrives, the stories find a new audience, keeping the cycle intact.
Sorting Eye Truth from Fact
Myth: reading in dim light causes vision loss
Myth: eating carrots improves eyesight
Myth: there is nothing you can do about vision loss
Myth: sitting too close to the TV causes eye damage
Myth: if you cross your eyes, they will stay that way
Myth: computer use harms the eyes
Myth: using a nightlight contributes to nearsightedness
Fact: zinc in red meat and oysters and kale, spinach and collard greens improve eye health
Fact: crossed eyes can be treated
Fact: looking at the sun can damage the eyes
Fact: children can benefit from wearing sunglasses from a young age
Fact: the use of a nightlight can develop eye coordination skills in the light
Eyes: The Windows of the Soul
Unlike a sore throat or a broken bone, there’s really no way to look into someone’s eyes and determine if they are healthy or not. The exception to this rule is crossed eyes (strabismus), drooping of the eyelid (ptosis), colorblindness, and refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Most choose to put off an eye exam until there is an issue or there’s a family history of early eye problems.
Pediatricians recommend having a child’s first eye test around the age of 3. If your child squints or turns their head in a strange manner while watching TV or has a disinterest in looking at far-away objects, it is a good idea to bring them in for an eye health exam earlier than the age of 3. Among children age 3 to 5, 1 in 20 has the potential for a vision problem that could result in permanent vision loss if left untreated, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- David Ellbogen, MD
- Robert Vigneri, MD
Return to School with a Clear Approach
This year, why not combine the annual school physical and required immunizations with an annual eye exam? Early diagnosis of an eye problem is one of the best ways to set your child up for long-term success today and in the future.
At Summit Medical Center our caring staff of Pediatric specialists can help you and your family find the right solution for yearly eye exams, bumps and scrapes, annual physicals, immunizations, recurrent sore throats, and seasonal sniffles. Summit Medical Center serves the Casper, Wyoming, area with cost-competitive, high-quality medical care and superior patient service. We’re changing the delivery of healthcare in Casper and beyond.